One month until Women make Sevens history
Just one month remains until history is made at the opening round of the inaugural IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in Dubai.
Part of the renowned Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, the women's competition kicks off a season-long campaign throughout which the finest women's Rugby Sevens players will compete in a World Series like the men, for the first time.
Last year eight women's teams competed in Dubai in one of three 'IRB Challenge Cup' events, but 2012 marks the start of the IRB Women's Sevens World Series.
Six nations - Australia, Canada, England, Netherlands, New Zealand and USA - will compete in Dubai and at the other three rounds in USA, China and Netherlands, while six others will travel to Dubai having impressed in their regional qualifiers, including for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow.
For Brazil's women, who are perennial champions of South America, Dubai is extra special as it puts an official stamp on the beginning of a four year competition cycle leading to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
For Russia's women, meanwhile, the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best is a key stepping stone on their path to hosting next year's Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.
It is only three and a half years since Dubai hosted the last World Cup for Sevens - the first in which women competed alongside the men.
Tickets for the historic event, voted Dubai’s favourite for the ninth time in 10 years, are still available, but organisers are urging supporters to buy their season tickets early to avoid disappointment, and there are incentives for those who do: A family of two adults and two teenagers attending both days of the international action will need four season tickets, and buying them before the day can save up to Dhs400 – the price of one ticket.
As ever, children under 12 gain free access to the general admission area and families can also save money when booking tickets before the tournament.
Tickets can be purchased online through www.dubairugby7s.com and from selected Costa and MMI outlets, Virgin Megastores, Emirates Group Headquarters, dnata offices and at 7he Sevens.
As in previous years, numerous buses will be on duty to transport fans from the Sevens back to various convenient locations across Dubai, free of charge.
Video: Dubai women's Sevens 2011