Durban proud to kick off Sevens Series
Cape Town
September 21, 2000

South Africa will host the first tournament of the 2000/2001International Rugby Board World Sevens Series in Durban on 18 and 19 November, the IRB confirmed today.

This is the second year of the series and follows the exciting finale of last year's event. The South African event was hosted in Stellenbosch last myear. Mahlubi Puzi, SARFU's Manager: Sevens and Women's Rugby, said the South African leg of the tournament would be the highlight of the country's domestic sevens activities.

"We've had a schools sevens series in August, followed by a club series in October and conclude the domestic sevens activities with hopefully a provincial series in November. The international tournament can thus be regarded as the pinnacle," Puzi said.

"I'm convinced the Sevens Boks will improve on their performance in the last series, when we ended fifth, and be among the frontrunners for the Durban tournament as well as those around the globe," he said.

Gary Grant, General Manager: Marketing of SARFU, said the city of Durban is the ideal venue for a sevens tournament of this magnitude.

"Absa Stadium's got great atmosphere and ties in wonderfully with what SARFU wants to achieve in sevens. Our slogan of Fast Furious Fun would be ideally underwritten by the carnival atmosphere associated with the Absa Stadium. Natal rugby people have already proved that they are loyal supporters of rugby," Grant said.

Brian van Zyl, CEO of the Natal Sharks, said they are honoured to be host to magnificent sevens teams like Fiji, New Zealand, Samoa and Australia. "This is not only a great moment for South African and Natal rugby, but also for our province," he said.

The 16 nations invited are:

New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, Samoa, France, Morocco, Kenya, Argentina, South Africa, Wales, Canada, England, Georgia, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

Seven of the ten planned tournaments have been confirmed:

The dates are:
18 - 19 November 2000, Durban, South Africa;
23 - 24 November 2000, Dubai, Arabian Gulf;
5 - 6 January 2001, Punta del Este, Uruguay;
9 - 10 February 2001, Wellington, New Zealand;
16 - 17 February 2001, Brisbane, Australia;
30 - 31 March 1 April 2001, Hong Kong;
29 - 30 April 2001, Tokyo, Japan.

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