SINGAPORE READY FOR KICK-OFF OF BEST
SCC 7S TOURNAMNET YET
– Draw for Men’s, Women’s and Schools & Colleges’ competitions completed
– More than 500 children coached by stars in SCC 7s youth development clinics
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SINGAPORE, 4 NOVEMBER 2010 – Singapore will host its best rugby 7s tournament yet this weekend, with the Padang set to pulsate as more than 50 teams battle for men’s, women’s and children’s titles. The draw for the 63rd Singapore Cricket Club International Rugby 7s has been completed, with the Ablitt Cup holders South African Vipers drawn alongside Impala, Sri Lanka and East Arnhem Rugby (Gove) in Pool F as they seek to secure their fourth straight victory in Singapore. The home club will tackle Horowhenua-Kapiti, COBRA and the Southern Lions in Pool C on Friday and Saturday, while the national Singapore women’s team will face off against Malaysia and Indonesia, in the opening rounds of the first ever SCC Women’s International 7s competition. Also for the first time ever, the National School and Colleges Rugby 7s championship will be contested at the SCC 7s, as part of the extensive youth development programme. In the past two days, more than 500 children have received professional coaching from competing teams, including the HSBC Penguins.
The seeded draw for the SCC 7s sees the tournament favourites separated for the first two days, though Ponsonby and the NS Wanderers have been drawn alongside each other in Pool B, along with the Casuarina Cougars and the Singapore Barbarians. The draw threw up another mouthwatering clash in the pool stages, with the HSBC Penguins and the Borneo Eagles set to face each other, as well as Cottesloe and Almaty in Pool A. Japan Samurais will be expected to progress as winners of Pool D, where they will face Sunnybank, NT Mosquitoes and Tamariva though one of the pre-tournament favourites, Davetalevu, will have to negotiate the potentially tricky Hong Kong Dragons, Palmyra and the British Army – Flying Kukris , in Pool E. For the first time ever, the opening round of pool games will be played on a Friday night, under floodlights. The pools will be completed on Saturday, with the knock-out phases and finals staged on Sunday.
Peter Hutton, Chairman, SCC Rugby 7s Organising Committee, said: “The SCC 7s is a world-class event which attracts some of the best teams from across the globe. The South African Vipers are the pre-tournament favourites but any one of HSBC Penguins, Davetalevu, NS Wanderers, Borneo Eagles, Japan Samurai, or five or six others, could upset them. This is undoubtedly the most competitive SCC 7s yet and some of the games in the pool stages will even be of higher quality than the finals of just a few years ago.”
Paul Treu, coach, South African Vipers, said: “We are delighted to be back in Singapore and are looking forward to defending our title. The SCC 7s is the ideal place in which to finalise our preparations for the IRB World Sevens Series, which kicks off in Dubai in December. On Friday and Saturday we will be looking to try out some new combinations and give all our players plenty of exposure. We’ll treat each of our opponents with respect but the real challenges will come on Sunday in the knock-out stages.”
The Singapore women’s national team will take part in the inaugural SCC Women’s International 7s as part of the final preparations for their first performance at the Asian Games. The draw for the six-team tournament pits Singapore against Indonesia and Malaysia, while pre-tournament favourites Japan will play India and Hong Kong. The women’s pool matches will take place on Friday, with the semi-finals and final taking place on Saturday.
For the first time ever, the SCC 7s will play host to the National Schools and Colleges Rugby 7s Championship. There will be 18 schools competing across the U-16 and U-19 competitions, with Anglo Chinese School (Independent), Singapore American School, United World College and Raffles Institute favourites to lift the titles. Minnows Pioneer Junior College, Pioneer Secondary School and Millennia Institute will hope to cause an upset on the biggest stage of schools rugby in Singapore. Games will be played on Friday and Saturday, with finals staged on Sunday 7 November.
The Schools and Colleges competition is part of an expanded SCC 7s youth development programme which has seen more than 500 children take part in clinics run by professional coaches and players. The flagship HSBC coaching clinic gathered approximately 200 children at the SCC 7s Padang Stadium, providing local children with unique access to world-class coaching. Players and coaches who took part included HSBC Penguins representatives, New Zealand 7s star Nafi Tuitavake, Malaysia coach Dean Herewini, Scotland development officer Neil Graham and former USA 7s coach John McKittrick, and South Africa’s HSBC Sevens World Series coach, Paul Treu and the SA Vipers team.
Darren Friedlander, Head of Marketing, HSBC Singapore said, “We are delighted to be involved with the SCC 7’s through the HSBC coaching clinic. For many years now, the Bank has supported grassroots rugby through the HSBC Penguins International Rugby Club who recently celebrated their 50th year of coaching. This year saw an increased involvement in the grass roots programme, most notably with a three month coaching tour of Asia that was led by former Scotland coach Frank Hadden. The HSBC Penguins are dedicated to spreading the love for rugby across the globe and whilst here in Singapore, they will have a real impact on the youth development programme, coaching hundreds of children and ensuring that the HSBC rugby legacy remains wherever they travel.”
In addition to the HSBC clinic at the Padang, competing teams such as South Africa’s Vipers, Fiji’s Davetalevu, Kenya’s Impala and New Zealend’s Ponsonby and Horowhenau-Kapiti visited schools including Anglo Chinese Junior College, St. Andrew’s Junior College, St. Andrew’s Secondary School, Greenridge Secondary School, St. Joseph’s Institution and United World College, to deliver unique coaching clinics specially tailored for each school. The participating schools also received several official SCC 7s match balls and a number of free tickets for their pupils to attend the SCC 7s.
The 2010 SCC 7s will take place from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 November, at a purpose built festival arena at the Padang, capable of holding over 7,000 fans. Tickets are on sale at www.sccrugbysevens.com and are priced at $50 for three days for an adult and $25 for three days for under-18s.
Notes to Editors:
About the Singapore Cricket Club International Rugby 7s
The Singapore Cricket Club International Rugby 7s is organised by the Singapore Cricket Club and is one of the oldest international invitational team sports events in Asia. What began as a humble tournament for Singaporean and Malaysian teams in the 1940s has grown to be regarded as a spectator friendly tournament with high playing standards. The mission of the tournament is to attract leading international and regional rugby teams, to provide a great spectator event and to further enhance the prestige of the Singapore Cricket Club. Surplus funds from the tournament are used for the development of rugby in Singapore, with a focus on youth rugby at schools and at grassroots level. The Singapore Cricket Club itself is one of Asia’s oldest sporting clubs and is the second oldest sports club in Singapore, junior by 10 years to the Singapore Sporting Club, now the Singapore Turf Club. The Singapore Cricket Club has a total of 13 sporting sections under its umbrella and some 3000 members. The Singapore Cricket Club is located at the magnificent Padang in the heart of Singapore’s business district.
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