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Ireland Women Paired With Australia Again

Ireland Women Paired With Australia Again

The Ireland Women’s Sevens squad will get a chance to run the rule over World Cup opponents Australia when the teams meet at the Guangzhou Women’s Sevens tournament in China later this month.

Having already been drawn with defending champions Australia for this summer’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow, Ireland have been placed in Pool B alongside the Australians for the fast-approaching China event.

The Guangzhou Women’s Sevens, which takes place between March 30 and 31, is the third round of the inaugural IRB Women’s Sevens World Series, and the first opportunity for Ireland to compete alongside the current top Sevens sides in the world.

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Twelve international teams from six continents will compete at the Guangzhou University Town Stadium, with tournament hosts China facing both cup finalists from round two in Houston – winners England and runners-up USA – in pool play, as well as Oceania qualifiers, Fiji.

The landmark event for rugby in China gives the host nation a second outing this season and hands Series debuts to the Fijians, Jon Skurr’s Ireland team and Tunisia, all of whom have also qualified to compete at June’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.

The Irish squad that qualified for the Rugby World Cup Sevens included a number of players who featured recently in the Ireland Women’s historic Triple Crown success, including Sevens captain Claire Molloy and five-try star Alison Miller.

Having won the opening round of the Women’s Sevens World Series in Dubai, and finished fourth in Houston, New Zealand lead the Series at the halfway stage.

Sean Horan’s side heads Pool A and faces another core team, the Netherlands, as well as South American champions Brazil and African qualifiers, Tunisia.

Aside from the Kiwis, Australia are the only side to have reached both semi-final rounds this season and they head Pool B, which also features seventh-ranked Canada, Japan and Ireland.

After victory in round 2 in the USA, England currently lie third in the standings and they head the third and final pool featuring the hosts China, USA and Fiji.

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “We are extremely excited to bring the game of rugby and this exciting new IRB Women’s Sevens World Series to China, a country with such massive potential for success and growth in the game.

“After two rounds we already have two different cup champions and at the halfway stage any one of five or six teams could still win the first Series, which shows the competitiveness that has quickly developed in the Women’s game.

“The level of professionalism and dedication from the teams is outstanding and that has already produced a dramatic improvement in the standard of play across all the teams.

“Just three years now remain until many of these women prepare to compete in Rio at the 2016 Olympic Games and this Series is a major step forward, while closer in the future there is also the allure of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow at the end of June.”

GUANGZHOU WOMEN’S SEVENS POOLS:

Pool A: New Zealand, Netherlands, Brazil, Tunisia

Pool B: Australia, Canada, Japan, IRELAND

Pool C: England, USA, China, Fiji

Full Match Schedule

Tournament Website

IRB WOMEN’S SEVENS WORLD SERIES:

Round 1 – UAE: Dubai, November 30-December 1, 2012 – 7he Sevens Stadium (winners New Zealand)
Round 2 – USA: Houston, Texas, February 1-2, 2013 – BBVA Compass Stadium (winners England)
Round 3 – China: Guangzhou, March 30-31, 2013 – Guangzhou University Town Stadium
Round 4 – Netherlands: Amsterdam, May 17-18, 2013 – NRCA Stadium

* Rugby World Cup Sevens, Moscow, June 28-30

Related Links –

Ireland Land Tough Draw For Women’s Sevens World Cup

Irish Rugby TV: Ireland Women’s Sevens Coach Jon Skurr

Irish Rugby TV: Jenny Murphy