Women's Sevens to continue momentum in Vegas

(IRB.COM) Tuesday 17 January 2012
 Women's Sevens to continue momentum in Vegas
Canada ran out victors at last year's USA women's event and also won the recent IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup in Dubai

The sixth annual USA Women’s International Sevens Invitational will be played in Las Vegas on 10-12 February alongside the USA Sevens, round five of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
The USA women’s national Sevens team will play host to Japan, Canada, Netherlands, France and Brazil as well as developmental teams from Canada and USA.

The event follows quickly on from the IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup in Dubai in December, the first ever IRB-sanctioned women's Sevens tournament.

Canada ran out impressive winners in Dubai with victory in the final against England and also line up in Las Vegas as defending champions.

In Pool B they face the team they beat in last year's USA final, the Netherlands, as well as Brazil and the USA Development side, the Stars & Stripes.

Meanwhile, in Pool A, hosts USA face tough matches against France, Japan and Canada's second-string, the Maple Leafs.
Most of the women's invitational matches will be contested at the Star Nursery Fields, adjacent to the Sam Boyd Stadium, with the Cup semi finals, bronze final and final to be played on the main pitch.

The women’s tournament will be webcast live on usarugby.org and USA Rugby’s Facebook Fan page and results will be posted in real time on USA Rugby’s website.

Netherlands to team up with England guru

With the 2016 Olympics fast approaching and 'soft' medals up for grabs, certain countries have moved to invest quickly in the women's Sevens game.

Last year the Netherlands Rugby Union started funding 14 professional women's Sevens players, with the assistance of the country's National Olympic Committee.

Now, in a further step forward, the Dutch are lining up expert guidance from one of the biggest names in the game, England men's Sevens coach Ben Ryan. Ryan will work with the squad in partnership with the Olympic Solidarity Programme.

“It is really exciting for the programme that one of the best Sevens coaches in the world will be coming here and reviewing the programme and then assisting us through the transition phase from amateur to professional," said Netherlands women's coach, Gareth Gilbert.

"We have been full time for four months now and we feel that we have made some very good progress but there is always room for improvement.

"Ben will be reviewing all our protocols that we have created and implemented and then advising us accordingly. He will visit us four times this year and monitor our progress. This was all made possible by the Olympic project and the IRB, which has been very accommodating.”