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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Timeframe: 'The Wizard' at Dubai Rugby Sevens

Fiji defeated South Africa 33-12 in the final of the tournament that year

Fiji's captain Waisale Serevi (L) and Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, head of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates Airlines, hold the Dubai Rugby Sevens trophy 23 November after Fiji defeated world champions South Africa 33-12 in the final of the 3-day tournament. Jorge Ferrari / AFP
Fiji's captain Waisale Serevi (L) and Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, head of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates Airlines, hold the Dubai Rugby Sevens trophy 23 November after Fiji defeated world champions South Africa 33-12 in the final of the 3-day tournament. Jorge Ferrari / AFP

It all started in 1970 with just a few players on a sandy pitch and some fans scattered along the touchline. But today, Dubai Rugby Sevens is a firm sporting and social fixture. About 100,000 people will take in the action over the weekend at the stadium on the Dubai to Al Ain Road.

In this photograph from November 1996, Fiji’s captain, Waisale Serevi, and Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman of Emirates, hold the trophy. Emirates got involved with the tournament in 1987.

Fiji defeated South Africa 33-12 in the final that year. Known as “The Wizard”, Serevi would go on to lead Fiji to victory in the World Cup Rugby Sevens finals in Hong Kong the following March.

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