The Ireland Men’s Sevens squad will get a chance to test themselves against some of the world’s leading sides when they line out at the eagerly-awaited Silicon Valley 7s tournament in San Jose over the weekend of November 4-5.
United World Sports, the owners and operators of the largest annual rugby events in the United States, have added to their portfolio of world-class international rugby competitions with the launch of the Silicon Valley 7s, scheduled for Saturday, November 4 and Sunday, November 5 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose.
The event will bring some of the world’s foremost exponents of Sevens rugby to the Bay Area, with the Ireland Men using the competition to build towards next April’s World Sevens Series Repechage in Hong Kong and the Sevens Rugby World Cup in San Francisco (July 20-22).
The other 12 teams include the Pacific Islands trio of Fiji, Tonga and Samoa, who will be competing in the same tournament for the first time since the 2007 USA Sevens. The USA, Canada, Australia, England, Chile, New Zealand, Japan and China complete the line-up.
A new-look Ireland side, captained by Billy Dardis, enjoyed a memorable debut on the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series circuit this summer, winning the Moscow and Clermont 7s titles as they finished as series runners-up to Russia and secured qualification for the World Series Repechage and RWC Sevens 2018.
Anthony Eddy, the IRFU Director of Sevens Rugby and the team’s head coach, said: “Having qualified for next summer’s Sevens Rugby World Cup and the World Series Repechage, it’s important for the Men’s Sevens programme that we challenge ourselves against top class opposition early on next season.
“The quality of teams that are set to compete at the Silicon Valley 7s is really high, with the likes of Fiji, Tonga, the USA, Canada, England and New Zealand all taking part – it should give the players a real sense of what they’ll be up against in the two big tournaments later in the season.
“The Men’s Sevens squad will compete in a number of invitational tournaments during the season, with the Munich 7s and the Dubai 7s two more events already on the calendar.”
The Silicon Valley 7s adds another international tournament to United World Sports’ growing portfolio that includes the annual USA Sevens tournament in Las Vegas (which is the largest professional rugby event in North America), the annual Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship in Philadelphia – the premier collegiate 7s event – and the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup Championship (the 15s national rugby championship).
“The addition of the Silicon Valley 7s to the international schedule, and its debut in San Jose, further validates the growth of rugby in the United States,” said Dan Payne, Chief Executive Officer of USA Rugby. “It is going to be a great event for rugby fans on the West Coast, a strong lead in tournament for the Men’s Sevens team in preparation for the HSBC Sevens World Series and a great opportunity to add a high calibre event to the domestic calendar with our partners, United World Sports.”
Avaya Stadium, which opened in February 2015, has a capacity of approximately 18,000 and is the home of Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes. In addition to 34 international men’s matches, the November tournament will feature 20 collegiate games, an international cultural festival, and an Island concert series.
Beginning today at 10am on the American west coast (6pm Irish time), VIPs will be eligible for an exclusive pre-sale before tickets go on sale to the general public next Tuesday (August 8) at 6pm Irish time. Tickets will be available via www.ticketmaster.com or www.sevensrugby.com, and groups of 10 or more should call Avaya Stadium at 408-556-7700.