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Ireland Sevens Teams Discover Pool Opponents For New Zealand Sevens

Hannah Tyrrell

The pool draw and fixture schedule for the next leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in New Zealand has been announced by World Rugby, with both Ireland Men’s and Women’s Sevens set to face France, Spain and Canada in their respective pools in Hamilton.

Following on from the recently concluded double-header in Dubai and Cape Town, the New Zealand Sevens, scheduled to take place at the FMG Stadium Waikato on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 January 2020, will be the fourth leg on the 2019/20 Women’s World Series and third on the 2019/20 Men’s World Series.

The pool draw for the women’s event sees Stan McDowell‘s Ireland paired with Canada and European rivals France and Spain in Pool C, while Ireland Men will go head-to-head with the same opponents as they look to build on their sixth-place finish in Cape Town last weekend.

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Ireland Women, who finished 11th in Cape Town, will get their New Zealand Sevens campaign underway against Canada on Saturday 25 January (9.52am local time, 8.52pm Irish time on Friday 24 January), while Anthony Eddy‘s Men also open their tournament against the Canadians on the same day (11.57am local time, 10.57pm Irish time on Friday 24 January).

In the other pools in the women’s tournament, hosts and reigning series champions New Zealand face Fiji, England and invitational team China in Pool A, while Olympic champions Australia will take on third-placed USA, Russia and newly-promoted Brazil in Pool B.

In the men’s tournament, the All Blacks Sevens have been drawn with Scotland, USA and Wales in Pool A, with South Africa set to take on Kenya, England and invitational team Japan in Pool B. Fiji, who defeated Ireland in the Cape Town quarter-finals, will play Argentina, Australia and Samoa in Pool D.

After three rounds, Ireland Women sit 10th in the World Series standings on 11 points while Ireland Men collected 12 valuable points in Cape Town to go into the New Year in 10th place after two tournaments.

Following their return from South Africa this week, both squads will have two weeks off over Christmas before beginning preparations for the Hamilton and Sydney double-header in early January.

New Zealand Sevens, Ireland Men’s Fixtures:

Pool C:

Saturday, 25 January:

  • Ireland v Canada, FMG Stadium Waikato, 11.57am local time/10.57pm Irish time -1
  • Ireland v Spain, FMG Stadium Waikato, 5.24pm local time/4.24am Irish time

Sunday, 26 January:

  • Ireland v France, FMG Stadium Waikato, 11.29am local time/10.29pm Irish time -1
  • Play-offs and finals, TBC

New Zealand Sevens, Ireland Women’s Fixtures:

Pool C:

Saturday, 25 January:

  • Ireland v Canada, FMG Stadium Waikato, 9.52am local time/8.52pm Irish time -1
  • Ireland v France, FMG Stadium Waikato, 3.08pm local time/2.08am Irish time

Sunday, 26 January:

  • Ireland v Spain, FMG Stadium Waikato, 8.45am local time/7.45pm Irish time -1
  • Play-offs and finals, TBC.