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A new international 7s tournament has found its place on the American rugby calendar, as United World Sports announced the launch of Silicon Valley 7s Thursday. The new 12-team tournament will see some of the best national teams in the world converge on San Jose’s Avaya Stadium Nov. 4-5 this fall.
Olympic gold medalist Fiji, 12-time HSBC Sevens World Series champion New Zealand, second-ranked England and the home Eagles will headline the competition. Joining the Flying Fijians are island-nation rivals Samoa and Tonga, marking the first time these three teams have played in the same tournament on American soil since the 2007 USA Sevens.
World Series stalwarts Australia, Canada and Japan are also in the mix. So is Ireland, one of only two nations to have already punched its ticket to the 2018 7s World Cup to be played down the road from Silicon Valley 7s in San Francisco. This marks the first time the Irish 7s side will have played in America. Also competing are China and Chile.
With the World Series kicking off in Dubai almost exactly a month later, Silicon Valley 7s will present the core teams a prime opportunity to tune up before the season. And it presents non-core teams a chance to test their mettle against the best in the world.
“It is exciting to establish Silicon Valley 7s as a season-opening annual tournament that will set the pace for the 2017-2018 rugby campaign,” said Jeff McDowell, EVP/CMO of United World Sports. “With 12 of the top rugby 7s teams in the world coming to San Jose, we anticipate a high-level of interest in this high-performance competition. Silicon Valley 7s brings the world’s fastest growing Olympic sport to a whole new audience, in a way that allows even the most casual of sports fans to see close-up the power of rugby 7s.”
Given its proximity to AT&T Park, where the World Cup will be held just nine months later, Silicon Valley 7s will also act as an appetizer of sorts.
“The addition of Silicon Valley 7s to the international schedule, and its debut in San Jose, further validates the growth of rugby in the United States.” said Dan Payne, Chief Executive Officer of USA Rugby. “It is going to be a great event for rugby fans on the West Coast, a strong lead in tournament for the Men's 7s team in preparation for the HSBC Sevens World Series and a great opportunity to add a high caliber event to the domestic calendar with our partner, United World Sports.”
On top of the elite international 7s tournament, there will be an eight-team college competition played in the stadium as a complement. Teams have yet to be announced, but this event will tie into the West Coast 7s series which has been run in California for the last several years, and some heavy hitting college programs are expected to be involved.
Beginning Friday, Aug. 4 at 10 a.m., VIPs will be eligible for an exclusive pre-sale before going on sale to the general public on Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available via Ticketmaster.com or SevensRugby.com and groups of 10 or more should call Avaya Stadium at 408-556-7700.