Biggest ever invitation tournament sees great rivalries renewed as teams return
- A record number of teams (224), players (3,304) and matches (513) make this edition of the Invitation Tournament bigger than ever before
- Great rivalry in International Invitation Men’s category between Samurai International and Suzuki Wailers set to resume
November 25 2014; Dubai, UAE: The record-breaking Invitation Tournament at the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens is getting bigger and better with every edition, and has been hailed by many of the returning teams as their favourite event on the international rugby calendar. Great rivalries which have developed over the years are set to resume when action kicks off on Thursday 4 December at The Sevens Stadium.
Along with Under 18s, Social, Veterans and Schoolboys categories, one of the great drawcards of the Invitation Tournament is the International Invitation Men’s and Women’s categories. Featuring many current and ex international players, the standard of competition is extremely high and the matches provide spectacular entertainment as teams vie for category honours.
The International Invitation Men’s category, which this year features teams from across the world including Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Russia, Brazil and England, will be a big draw again. This category has produced one of the most entertaining duels, with Samurai International battling it out with the Suzuki Wailers in the finals of each of the last three editions, Samurai International coming out on top on every occasion.
Looking forward to returning to Dubai, Samurai International founder Terry Sands said: “This will be our tenth visit to the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, and we’re returning to try and defend our title and extend our winning run. Dubai has always been one of our favourite touring destinations, right since our first appearance at the Dubai Exiles ground.
“2014 has been one of, if not the most, successful years for the Samurai 7s team having won the George 7s in South Africa, the Amsterdam 7s and the GB Sevens Series, so we are definitely aiming for another win in Dubai to cap off a great year.”
Looking forward to dueling with the Wailers again, Sands said “Dubai has always been a happy stomping ground for the Wailers, and this year is not likely to be any different, as they will field a strong team of Sevens specialists. Hopefully it will be another Samurai vs Wailers final in the main stadium in front of a sellout crowd, but there will be plenty of teams hoping to spoil the Samurai/Wailers party along the way!”
Explaining what makes the Invitation Tournament so attractive to teams and keeps drawing the players back, Invitation Tournament Manager Jill Conlon said: “The high standard of the competition makes our Invitation Tournament arguably one of the most popular in the world. The games are fantastic entertainment, and are a great opportunity to see some excellent players in action.”
Playing the Invitation Tournament is not just about showcasing skills and talent, but also about taking in the atmosphere, feels Conlon, who added: “The players really like this event because it has grown from a very small club tournament to the huge international event it is today, It is the only event on the Sevens circuit that actually hosts the three tournaments, the men’s HSBC Sevens World Series, the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series, as well as the invitation tournament, featuring sportsmen and sportswomen from not just rugby backgrounds, but from a wide variety of other sporting codes, all enjoying the game of rugby simultaneously at the one location. It’s one of the most prestigious invitation tournaments in the world but it still has an element of being a club-type tournament, so that’s very special and something the players really enjoy.
“It is great to see so many of the teams coming back year after year and the fantastic rivalries that have emerged add even more interest to an already exciting event. We are looking forward to seeing all the teams in action again.”
Entry to the first day of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens on Thursday 4 December is free. Tickets for Friday and Saturday are now on sale, see www.dubairugby7s.com for all the details of the event and ticket outlets.