Record entries for Dubai 7s
October 5, 2003

The Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby 7s is set to underline its status as one of the world's leading rugby festivals when a record 1,800 players will compete in the three-day extravaganza from December 3-5.

An incredible 144 teams will play a total of 330 matches on four grass
pitches with the tournament growing by an impressive 15 per cent compared to last year's record breaking 7s which saw 279 matches played by 128 teams.

While the 16 professional nations competing for the Emirates International Trophy will undoubtedly take centre stage, such has been the demand for the various tournaments running alongside the main event, organisers have added an extra competition and expanded several others.

"The response to all the various competitions has been overwhelming," said Gary Chapman, said Gary Chapman, President of DNATA and Associated
Companies, Emirates Group. "The Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby 7s enjoys a huge international profile which is reflected by the number of teams
competing this year and the countries from where they will travel from. The 7s was built up from local competition, and this section of the event has continued to grow which is a credit to the organisers and the teams who travel here year after year."

The Dubai Exiles, which has hosted the event for the past 34 years, is
responsible for organising the various tournaments which include the
International Invitational, Local Social, U19's, Women's, Veterans and for the first time an International Veteran's section. There is also a 32-strong Gulf tournament, which sees the pick of the region's club sides vying for honours.

"We have teams from Uganda, Nigeria, Moscow, Azerbaijan, Seychelles and
possibly Iran all coming out to compete this year," said Jim Lees, Chairman of Dubai Exiles Rugby Club. "The addition of a fourth pitch has enabled us to welcome more teams this year and such is the popularity of the tournament these days, we are already getting enquiries for 2004!"

The Exiles Ground is currently a hive of activity as a major construction project is being finalised before the erection of the 20,000-seater stadium commences. As well as the fourth grass pitch being planted, the main pitch has been rotated to accommodate more spectators while the rugby village and VIP areas will be tarmacced. The floodlighting is also being enhanced to meet global television standards.

Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby 7s categories and teams
IRB Sevens: 16 teams
In'l Invitational: 32 teams - up from 24 last year
In'l Veterans: 16 teams - new section
Gulf Veterans: 12 teams
U19's: 12 teams
Ladies: 8 teams
Local Social: 16 teams
Gulf: 32 teams
Total teams: 144
Total matches: 330 - up from 279 last year
Total players: 1800 (approx)

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