7 Players to Watch at Dubai Sevens
As the Rugby World Cup fades away, here at Venatour we’ve returned from Japan with our appetite for international rugby only enhanced.
Unfortunately, we won’t see our international heroes take to the field until the Six Nations early next year. In the meantime, however, we’re turning our attention to the more dynamic, quick and entertaining form of the game: Rugby Sevens.
— Ben Ryan (@benjaminryan) November 18, 2019
The Sevens circuit has only risen in popularity over the last few years, and Venatour are keen to get amongst it! As official operators for next year’s LA Sevens, we’re excited to offer 4 nights in a selection of LA hotels, return flights from Heathrow to LAX, weekend match tickets with the option to upgrade, and much more.
With Dubai Sevens just two weeks away, we’ve compiled a list of seven sevens players to watch as we build towards LA 2020.
PORTIA WOODMAN (NZ)
She’s back. After a lengthy layoff where pundits questioned if she’d ever play again, Black Ferns hero Portia Woodman has returned to the Sevens circuit. One of a handful of players who have been World Rugby Player of the Year in both Sevens and 15s, Woodman became the top try-scorer in Rugby World Cup Sevens history in 2013 as she led New Zealand to the final and has remained a household name ever since.
CORMAC IZUCHUKWU (Ireland)
Fresh after their impressive run in Rugby X, the five-a-side rugby brainchild of Fiji’s Olympic Gold Medal-winning coach Ben Ryan, Ireland will look to carry this momentum into Dubai Sevens as they look to be the dark horses of the competition. One standout player who impressed was Cormac Izuchukwu. The long-limbed teenager with a blistering step scored five tries as his team reached the final before being pipped to the inaugural title by Argentina. Expect Izuchukwu to be a sevens mainstay for the next decade.
— RugbyX (@RugbyXOfficial) October 29, 2019
PERRY BAKER (USA)
One of the most famous Sevens players of all time, it is crazy to think that Perry Baker only properly began rugby in 2014 at the age of 27 after a stint as a wide-receiver for NFL side Philadelphia Eagles. A two-time World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year, Baker will be key to USA’s challenge to recover their #1 spot.
JERRY TUWAI (Fiji)
The current World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year, Jerry Tuwai is a true Sevens superstar. After a disappointing showing in Dubai last time out, the diminutive playmaker will be looking to dart and weave past the opposition before using his superhuman acceleration to leave defences in ruins.
RUBY TUI (NZ)
A powerful runner and workhorse at the breakdown, Ruby Tui was voted the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year after a phenomenal year. Her ferocity charged New Zealand’s Black Ferns to the World Sevens Title as Tui started every game, and grabbed 12 tries in the process.
HEATHER FISHER (England)
Sevens legend Fisher was part of the England team that stormed to victory in Rugby X and has been a vital cog in the short format for well over a decade. The upcoming Sevens season could well be her last and if England put a string of good results together off the back of their Rugby X success, an Olympic Gold Medal could be a fitting end to Fisher’s glittering career.
DAN NORTON (England)
Despite England’s group-stage exit in Rugby X, Dan Norton still caught the eye with his electric pace and outrageous offloading ability. An England 7s mainstay, Norton will be vital to any English men’s hopes of winning silverware in a vital season.