- Home side will face South Africa, Kazakhstan and Brazil in pool matches
- England Sevens look to repeat Hong Kong success at Twickenham
Photo: Getty Images
Hosts England will head Pool A as they seek to secure a second successive IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup victory in front of a record crowd at the Marriott London Sevens at Twickenham Stadium on May 12-13 following confirmation of the pool draw and match schedule.
The third IRB-sanctioned tournament, which runs alongside the HSBC Sevens World Series, will see 12 invited teams from six continents compete for the prized trophy. England were crowned champions in Hong Kong last month, while Canada took the inaugural title in Dubai in December.
The full IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup match schedule (PDF 205KB) is available on RFU.com, with South Africa, Kazakhstan and Olympic Games 2016 hosts Brazil joining England in Pool A. Canada top Pool B and will face European opposition as they take on Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 hosts Russia, the Netherlands and Portugal. Pool C is headed by current Rugby World Cup Sevens champions Australia, who are joined by USA, China and France.
"This is another tough pool for England," said captain Michaela Staniford. "South Africa are the team that jump out at me. They have been developing at an impressive rate over the past few years, they proved this in Canada at the Nations Cup in XVs and then in the IRB Challenge Cup Sevens in Dubai last year. South Africa were definitely our toughest opponents in the pool games in Dubai, with us only winning by two points."
Photo: Getty Images
Rugby fans will be able to watch the pool games of the IRB Challenge Cup Sevens on the neighboring Cardinal Vaughan pitches with the semi-finals and the final taking centre stage on the famous Twickenham Stadium pitch.
"Playing in front of a big crowd will always lift a team but what all the girls are looking forward to is a crowd that will be behind them and the opportunity to show the home crowd what we can do," added Staniford. "We want to be a team the England Rugby fans can be proud of and continue to support. The team will be doing everything we can to get to the semis and the final to be able to play on the best pitch in the world."
IRB Women’s Development Manager Susan Carty added: "The IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup events have proved a huge success, with thrilling matches and competitive events in Dubai and Hong Kong played in front of record crowds for the women’s game.
"Once again we have invited leading international teams to participate, including nations such as France and Portugal who will get their first taste of the event as we build towards the Olympic Games in 2016."
Last year's beach themed event at the London Sevens saw more than 100,000 fans head to Twickenham Stadium and the 2012 event promises to be even bigger. The party atmosphere generated by the fans is almost unrivalled in the Twickenham calendar and this year’s event takes up a 1970s theme.
You can buy tickets for the Marriott London Sevens via RFU.com, with weekend tickets from £30, with single day tickets from £18 and kids tickets from £5 each day.