The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has welcomed the inclusion of the SA Women’s team as one of six invited teams that will take their place alongside the core sides for the inaugural leg of the first ever IRB Women's Sevens World Series (WSWS).
The ground-breaking Women’s Series, which kicks off in Dubai on November 30-December 1, is set to take place in four global destinations, underscoring the IRB's commitment to the on-going growth and development of Women's Rugby around the world.
It is expected that the series will grow in future years with an eye on the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
South Africa, Brazil, China, France, Russia and Spain will join core teams Australia, Canada, England, Netherlands, New Zealand and USA at the historic first event, which will run parallel to the men’s version at The Sevens ground in Dubai.
The WSWS will then split off from the men’s series as it forges its own following and identity, with later rounds taking place in USA (Houston), China (Guangzhou) and Netherlands (Amsterdam).
Mahlubi Puzi, the SARU Senior Manager for Women’s Rugby, said SARU welcomed the inclusion of the SA female team in the first WSWS tournament. “We are delighted to be part of this historic event in Dubai. This tournament and the other planned events will give our girls much needed playing opportunities.
“We have played in only one tournament since the 2009 Sevens World Cup in Dubai, so we are therefore absolutely delighted to be part of the Dubai event and also grateful to the IRB for launching this pioneering initiative,” said Puzi.
He added SA Sevens Women will be in action in a warm-up tournament in China at the end of October to help them in their preparations for the Dubai event.
According to the IRB, the teams invited to compete in the other legs of the series will be announced in due course.
IRB Women’s Sevens World Series
Round 1 – UAE: Dubai, November 30 – December 1, 2012 – 7he Sevens Stadium
Round 2 – USA: Houston, Texas, 1-2 February, 2013 - BBVA Compass Stadium
Round 3 – China: Guangzhou, 30-31 March 2013 - Guangzhou University Town Stadium
Round 4 – Netherlands: Amsterdam, 17-18 May 2013 - NRCA Stadium
Rugby World Cup Sevens, Moscow, June 28-30 2013