The 2014/15 Women’s Sevens Series gets underway on Thursday in Dubai and this year it’s not just winning that counts – the focus is now firmly on the Olympic Games. By the time the series finishes in Netherlands next May, we’ll know the first four teams that will compete in Rio 2016, along with hosts, Brazil.
All teams have arrived in Dubai and excitement is building in the UAE with the tournament set to raise the bar even further this year in terms of skill levels, intensity and competitiveness.
Last season’s series winners New Zealand are back, and captain Sarah Goss is expecting the series to be tougher than ever, with Olympic qualification up for grabs. “I think it’s going to be a lot more competitive, the series has grown year-to-year and everyone is coming a lot closer to that top spot. It’s going to be tough but we’re really looking forward to seeing how other teams have progressed,” said Goss. “We’ve got a few new young girls coming through, and we have older girls but with less experience on the sevens circuit. So we’re looking forward to showcasing them in Dubai and throughout the season.”
Round two of the men’s HSBS Sevens World Series gets underway in Dubai on Friday, with the top four teams at the end of the series also qualifying for Rio 2016. Fiji won the Dubai leg in style last year and are currently sitting top of the men’s standings ahead of Samoa, England and South Africa.