The Scotland 7s team will face top seeds Fiji in this year’s Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens.
Accompanying the challenge of the highest ranked sevens team in the world are those from Portugal and Sri Lanka.
Commenting on today’s draw, head coach Stephen Gemmell said: “The draw has set us up for an exciting contest.
”The Hong Kong Sevens differs from the other tournaments because there are 24 teams competing over three days as opposed to 16 teams over two days.
“We have faced both Portugal and Fiji already this season so we have the opportunity now to put a few things right. Portugal beat us narrowly in the Wellington Shield final and many lessons were learned in our first encounter with Fiji.”
Having leapt 16 places in the 2006/07 IRB World Standings since they departed for the last two tournaments in Wellington (New Zealand) and San Diego (USA), Gemmell is confident that the team are improving as the Series progresses: “We finished the San Diego tournament in the highest position ever since the new IRB Sevens World Series was formed, so it shows we are moving in the right direction.
”The Hong Kong Sevens is a great opportunity to show everyone that our performance in USA wasn’t just a one off. However, only the top teams from each pool and the two best placed runners up qualify for the Cup on day three so it’s going to be tough.”
The Scotland 7s team have reached the half-way point of the 2006/07 IRB Sevens World Series after competing in four of the eight tournaments around the world.
The final tournament of the series comes to the birth place of the sevens game, Scotland. On 2-3 June, the Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s will be staged at Murrayfield Stadium in Scotland’s capital city.
The Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s will not only host a wealth of high-quality international rugby sevens on the international pitch at Murrayfield, but will also put on a Festival of Rugby celebrating all the abbreviated versions of the game played across the globe.
The Festival of Rugby will be an all-inclusive event, including Tag, touch and full-contact club sevens. It will give players of all levels a fantastic opportunity to participate whether they are beginners or experienced.
Scottish Rugby is encouraging teams and groups from all over Scotland and beyond to come and participate in the Festival, to give the whole event an international flavour. Further information on the Festival of Rugby can be found by reading TeamTalk Special.
Further details on the Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s and information on tickets will be announced shortly.
The draw for the Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens:
Pool A: Fiji, Scotland, Portugal, Sri Lanka
Pool B: South Africa, Wales Tonga, Chinese Taipei
Pool C: Samoa, Canada, Japan, China
Pool D: New Zealand, Kenya, Russia, Italy
Pool E: England, Argentina, Korea, Hong Kong
Pool F: France, Australia, Tunisia, USA
Scotland 7s’ Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens fixtures:
Day 1 (Friday 30 March)
7:10pm - Scotland v Portugal
Day 2 - (Saturday 31 March)
10:30am - Scotland v Sri Lanka
5:06pm - Fiji v Scotland
IRB Sevens World Series
Dubai, UAE - 1-2 December
George, South Africa - 8-9 December
Wellington, New Zealand - 2-3 February
San Diego, USA - 10-11 February
Hong Kong, China - 20 - 31 March & 1 April
Adelaide, Australia - 7-8 April
London, England - 26-27 May
Edinburgh, Scotland - 2-3 June