The pools and fixtures for the last round of the 2013/14 World Series were announced today in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam will host the fifth and final leg of the Series on Friday, May 16 and Saturday, May 17 at the NRCA Stadium where last year New Zealand won the inaugural trophy.
This year the reigning champions have been drawn in Pool A alongside Ireland, Spain and the USA.
Ireland’s Rio 2016 qualification bid is additionally supported by Olympic Council of Ireland Team Sport Funding through the IOC’s Olympic Solidarity Programme.
Ireland will head to Amsterdam with added confidence after winning the Bowl title at the China Sevens in Guangzhou last weekend.
Jon Skurr’s squad claimed back-to-back victories over regular rivals Brazil and hosts China to win their first piece of silverware as a core team.
Captained by Shannon Houston, the girls in green have already played three pool matches against New Zealand this year – losing to them in Dubai (29-0), Atlanta (36-7) and São Paulo (36-0).
They drew 12-all with the Americans on their Series debut in Dubai but fell to a 22-0 defeat when the sides met in Brazil in February.
Spain, who are new opponents for Ireland, are currently sixth in the overall Series standings and were the Plate champions in São Paulo.
New Zealand’s chief challengers Australia, who are just two points behind the Kiwis in the Series standings, will head Pool B in Amsterdam alongside Russia, France and South Africa.
Pool C will see Canada face England, Brazil and hosts Netherlands in a competitive group.
Matches kick off around midday (local time) on both Friday and Saturday, with all the action streamed live on wsws.irb.com.
Speaking at a press conference to launch the Amsterdam event, IRB General Manager for Sevens, Avan Lee, said: “This year has witnessed some remarkable rugby during the Women’s Sevens World Series, and it will all come down to the final round here in the Netherlands.
“New Zealand and Australia lead the standings and I expect the battle will be fiercely competitive and will come right down to the final whistle.
“The Amsterdam Sevens has always been a key date on the rugby calendar here in the Netherlands, and I’ve no doubt it will be a great event for fans and players next month.”
The last round of the Series in China saw another enthralling final between New Zealand and Australia in the rain in Guangzhou, with the ‘Sistas’ coming out on top after yet another epic encounter beween the two teams.
Click here for the pools and match schedule for the Amsterdam Sevens.
Photo © Mike Lee/USA Rugby