All you scrum-and-tackle fans are in luck – Singapore Cricket Club (SCC) International Rugby 7s 2013 has just announced a stellar line-up of 20 teams from 11 of the world’s biggest rugby nations that will playing in its 66th edition this November.
In case you have a dusty memory, this tournament has seen international superstars, the likes of Jonah Lomu (New Zealand), Tana Umaga (New Zealand) and Cecil Afrika (South Africa), sweating it out on the Padang turf.
This year, defending champions Daveta from Fiji, who have won the Ablitt Cup on their past two visits to Singapore, will be returning in a bid to complete a hat-trick of SCC 7s titles.
First-time visitors France and Kenya’s national development squads are joining Auckland Rugby Union, which has produced many All Blacks both past and present. The Auckland squad recently finished the World Cup 7s in August as runner-up and the side will be led by formeral International Rugby Board (IRB) World Sevens Player of the Year, Orene Ai’i. We’ve heard rumours that Auckland Blue’s newest signing, Benji Marshall, might be making an appearance too.
Another exciting sight would be the All Black’s Rene Ranger taking off on one of his rampaging runs with the Northland club from New Zealand, who will look to better their quarter-final performance last year.
Singapore will be represented by host the Singapore Cricket Club (SCC), featuring national stars Mohammad Suhaimi bin Amra, Bryan Ng and Kevin Loo.
5 MINUTES WITH:…
SCC first team captain and Kiwi expat Simon Etheredge, who plays loose forward on the SCC team.
EX: How do you feel about the Singapore squad this year?
SE: The SCC 7s squad has yet to be selected as we are still a month away. Also the new start date of the Singapore Rugby Competition on 19 October has meant that the SCC players have been focused more recently on XV’s rugby, in which we defeated the top two Hong Kong teams (Hong Kong Valley and Hong Kong Football Club) in the last month! This is a club first and has allowed the coaches to identify individuals for the SCC 7s squad.
That said, the SCC 7s squad should feature some new players who have recently joined the club along with experienced SCC and Singapore National team players. There will be a fine blend of skill – from youthful speed and exuberance to those more experienced and physically hardened players.
EX: What teams are you most excited to play against?
SE: Definitely Daveta from Fiji. The provincial side that has provided more Fijian national 7s players than any other in Fiji is always a joy to watch and a painful side to play against.
Last year, SCC played them in their opening match and put up a stiff defence to be only trailing 14-7 early in the second half before Daveta stepped up an extra gear running in three more tries. In fact, many of the players in last year’s Daveta squad played in the Fijian squad that won the Hong Kong Sevens this year.
Another team that SCC would love to play in pool stages is the Penguins. The 2010 champions are returning with their invitation team of New Zealanders and Pacific Islanders under the HSBC banners and we are yet to play them other than in a couple warm up matches a few days prior to the tournament.
Singapore Cricket Club (SCC) International Rugby 7s 2013
When: 1 to 3 November 2013
Where: The Padang, Singapore
Tickets: 3-day passes at $60 and single-day passes at $15 (Friday), $25 (Saturday) and $35 (Sunday). Family passes (2 adults, 2 children) available.
Snag your tickets now at TicketBooth before 14 October to get the early bird specials.