Pools drawn for 2012 Gold Coast
rugby.com.au and James Mortimer 18 Sep 2012 Getty Images
After a fourth placing at last year's inaugural event, the Australian squad is determined to improve when the second instalment of the Gold Coast Sevens is staged on Saturday October 13 and Sunday October 14.
The All Blacks Sevens, defending series champions after winning their tenth crown last season, will face off against South Africa in their pool.
The pool draw, conducted by the IRB in London, sees a number of tantalising clashes on day one of Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch.
In the opening games of day one, England and Kenya will go head-to-head, Argentina and France will do battle, while the Men’s Sevens will meet Oceania rivals Tonga for their first game.
The final round of matches on day one promises to give fans a taste of finals like action with all the matches likely to determine who tops their respective pools.
England will take on Samoa, Argentina meet Wales and New Zealand face off against South Africa ahead of the final game of day one, which sees hosts Australia pitted against 2011 Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch Champions, Fiji.
Men’s Sevens coach, Michael O’Connor, said the draw delivered an exciting day one for fans and a tough day one for teams.
“Over the past few years every team has improved and there won’t be any easy games, all the Pools look tough,” O’Connor said.
“The one positive from our point of view is that should we qualify for the quarter-finals we won’t have to play New Zealand, South Africa or Fiji until at least the semi-finals on day two.”
Following their recent success at the Oceania Sevens Championships in Sydney and a number of training camps at the AIS in Canberra, the Qantas Men’s Sevens head in to Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch with a solid preparation under their belt.
With over 25,000 people attending the inaugural Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch tournament in 2011, fans are being encouraged to purchase their tickets now and enjoy the newest Olympic Sport, Rugby Sevens, on the Gold Coast.
In 2012 a number of the crowd favourites will return with fancy dress, kiss cam and karaoke all set to be part of the two day festivities.
There will also be a few new additions to the in-stadium entertainment with fans being given the chance to show off their dance moves and their air guitar talents on the big screen.
Day one action will kick-off at 10:30am on Saturday 13 October, which will also mark the start of the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series.
With 15 international teams joining the Qantas Men’s Sevens side, Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch is sure to bring thousands of visitors to Skilled Park.
Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey, said the international teams would draw thousands of Rugby fans to the Gold Coast tournament.
“Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch attracted more than 25,000 supporters in its first year, providing a great platform for growth in 2012,” Ms Stuckey said.
“As we look towards the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, of which Rugby Sevens is a core sport, this tournament demonstrates Queensland’s ability to host great international sporting events.
All Blacks Sevens Pool matches (times are local)
New Zealand v USA
New Zealand v Canada
New Zealand v South Africa