Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 15 November 2019

New Zealand to begin Dubai Rugby Sevens title defence against Wales on December 5

For the first time, the World Series competition will be spread over three days

New Zealand beat USA to lift the Dubai Rugby Sevens title last year. Getty
New Zealand beat USA to lift the Dubai Rugby Sevens title last year. Getty

New Zealand will begin the defence of their Dubai Rugby Sevens title when they face Wales on December 5.

The pools have been announced for the tournament, which marks the first leg of the World Sevens Series.

For the first time, the World Series competition will be spread over three days, with the opening round of matches to be played on the Thursday evening.

In the past, the opening day of the three-day sevens festival was reserved for invitational tournaments, as well as Women’s World Series matches.

The tournament is being played a week later than its traditional National Day weekend timeslot.

The three-day format for the World Series tournament matches that of the Hong Kong Sevens, as well as the 2009 Sevens World Cup, which was played in Dubai.

The international men’s teams will play one pool match each on the opening day, two on the Friday, with the knock out matches staged on the Saturday.

Canada, overseen by the former Jebel Ali Dragons coach Henry Paul, will raise the curtain on the tournament as they play Samoa on Pitch 1 at 5.06pm on Thursday, December 5.

The last match of the first evening will see South Africa start their bid to regain the title, as they face Kenya at 7.54pm.

The final will kick off at 7.02pm on Saturday, December 7. The cup final of the Women’s World Series tournament will also return to being played on the Saturday. It will kick off at 6.33pm.

Updated: October 16, 2019 02:47 PM

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