Pools & matches announced for WSWS Amsterdam
With just a month to go until the Women's Sevens World Series in Amsterdam, the IRB has announced the pools and schedule for the fourth and final leg of the tournament.
Twelve international sides from across the globe will compete in the last round of the inaugural Series on May 17 and 18.
And with the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 (RWC Sevens) taking place just over a month later in Moscow, the Amsterdam round of the series will be vitally important as teams prepare for the trip to Russia.
Series leaders New Zealand are eight points ahead of England in the current standings, with Australia a further eight points behind the English as the teams prepare for Amsterdam.
And following on from the massive success of the series events in Dubai, Houston and Guangzhou, round four has thrown up some mouth-watering clashes in the Dutch capital next month.
In what is sure to attract massive home crowds, leaders New Zealand are drawn in Pool A against hosts Netherlands, as well as China and RWC Sevens hosts Russia.
England's women, who now lie second in the standings, will face a tough challenge when they face Canada, South Africa and France in Pool B.
Australia, USA, Spain and Brazil complete the teams in Pool C, as all 12 sides look to make an impact with RWC Sevens taking place from June 28-30.
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With the hosts taking on the mighty New Zealand team on May 17, there will be no shortage of motivation for the Dutch or their supporters.
"A game like this is perfect for us, despite the tough challenge that New Zealand will bring, " said Nederlandse Rugby Bond Chairman Willem de Jong.
"The city, the sport and the history of the Amsterdam Sevens provide the best mix for us to showcase what we've been doing in recent years here in Holland. It will be a great honour for the players to be part of a tournament on home soil in front of their supporters."
To mark its debut year, the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series tournament will be held in conjunction with the famous Amsterdam Rugby Sevens event which takes place at the National Rugby Centrum. The Amsterdam Sevens is in its 42nd year and attracts hundreds of former internationals and teams from around the world. Tickets are selling well for the event in the Dutch capital.
Women's Rugby is one of the fastest-growing team sports in the world and, in 2016, the finest female players in the world will take their place alongside their male counterparts in Rio de Janeiro when Rugby returns to the Olympic Games. For the IRB, the inception of an international Sevens series is a key milestone in the ongoing development of both the competitive standards and the professionalism of the women’s Game.