This comes courtesy of Oliver Hicks, Dutch Rugby Union PR Officer
The Rugby World Series, which is in its first year, gives women rugby players across six continents the opportunity to represent their county at an elite level. The four-leg series has already visited the UAE (Dubai) and USA (Houston) and will soon touch down in China (Guangzhou, March 30/31).
The final leg of the Rugby World Series will take place in Amsterdam over the weekend of the 17/18 May and will feature the Dutch as one of six core teams (England, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and USA), with the remaining six places awarded to nations based on their regional tournament rankings. At the end of the two-day competition one team will then be crowned 2013 IRB Women’s Sevens World Series Champions.
Willem de Jong, Chairman of the Dutch Rugby Union, thinks that the final leg of the IRB World Series in Amsterdam is the perfect opportunity to promote rugby in the Netherlands. “The city, the sport and the history of the Amsterdam Sevens provide the best mix for us to do just that!”
To mark its debut year, the IRB WSWS tournament will be held in conjunction with the iconic Amsterdam Rugby Sevens event to be held at the National Rugby Centrum Amsterdam. The Amsterdam Sevens is in its 42nd year and attracts hundreds of former internationals and teams from around the world. George de Vries, Tournament Director of the Amsterdam 7’s, mentions, “The collaboration is recognition for our hard work over the past 42 years the event has been organised and means that dreams can come true. It will help us to keep improving our tournament and the development of Dutch rugby in every possible way.”
So far the Dutch team have finished 8th in Dubai and two months later, finished 6th in Houston after narrowly losing to Russia in the plate final. In preparation for the 3rd leg of the series in Guangzhou, the Dutch team will play in the Hong Kong Women’s 7’s tournament.
The team is looking to continue their rise in the world of rugby 7’s ahead of Amsterdam playing host to the IRB WSWS. Dutch Sevens Women’s coach, Gareth Gilbert, said:
“It will be a great honour for the players to be part of a tournament on home turf in front of their supporters. I hope that this will inspire them to achieve something special and help put this competition on the map. With two tournaments remaining, we will need to tighten our defence if we are going to achieve our goal of finishing higher up in the overall tournament standings.
Women’s Rugby is one of the fastest-growing team sports in the world and, in 2016, the finest female players in the world will take their place alongside their male counterparts in Rio de Janeiro when Rugby returns to the Olympic Games summer programme. For the IRB the inception of an international series is a key milestone in the on-going development of both the competitive standards and the professionalism of the women’s Game.
The atmosphere at the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series finale & Amsterdam 7’s event is sure to be electric showcasing a weekend full of action packed rugby with all players keen to demonstrate their speed, skill, strength & power!
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Dutch Rugby Union
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