RWC7s women's pool draw - Team reaction(IRB.COM) Friday 1 March 2013
Reaction from across the teams to the pool draw for the women's competition at the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow.
Pool A: Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, Tunisia
New Zealand coach, Sean Horan: “We’re pretty happy with our pool. You can never discount any team in an international competition as we expect everyone to be bringing their best to Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013. We want to be competitive against all teams in our pool, in particular Netherlands and Canada, and we’re really excited about competing in Moscow later this year.”
Pool B: Australia, South Africa, China, Ireland
Australia captain, Rebecca Tavo: “We’ve had that label as defending champions for four years, but it would be great to have the label as the 2013 World champions. The 2009 tournament was very intense, I’d never been to anything like it before. It was a rollercoaster but we dealt with it and at the end we were world champions.”
Australia coach, Chris Lane: “We’ve been building toward this for the last 18 months. We’re the defending world champions, it’s important to us to win the World Cup again this year. We’re just focussed on our preparation, we want to play at a world champion standard. The title of being defending champions won’t put pressure on us though, four years is a long time and we’re a new team.”
South Africa's Natasha Hofmeester, a member of the SA team that narrowly lost against Australia four years ago in Dubai, and former SARU Women’s Player of the Year: “Our match in 2009, and our recent clash in the World Series in Houston against Australia, were two close-fought affairs, so we are bracing ourselves for another exciting match. Compared to four years ago, when we were just starting out, we are now a much more settled team with more matches and more experience in our favour. We continue to grow as a team and the fact that we are now part of the Women’s World Series and playing in a second RWC are really exciting times for Women’s Rugby in South Africa."
Pool C: USA, Spain, Brazil, Fiji
Spain coach, Boris Gutiérrez: "We knew that we were going to have a tough pool. It could have been Canada, England or Australia, we drew USA. We'll have to be careful with Fiji, a country with a lot of tradition and culture in Sevens. It's a World Cup so it's hugely important for everyone."
Pool D: England, Russia, France, Japan
England coach Barry Maddocks: “This is a tough pool as we face some strong European opposition in Russia and France, whilst Japan are a quick and talented footballing side, but certainly I think Pool A will be an interesting pool to watch. The bar is being raised at every tournament we go to now and games are only won by the smallest margins. Our priority will be to get through the pool stages as efficiently as we can.”
Russia coach, Pavel Baronowsky: "We will compete against the best team in the world at the moment, England. They are our main competitors in the European and world championship, so it will be tough for sure. We are ready to become World Champions, there is no point in just turning up. We want to play our part in the World Cup and hopefully keep the trophy here in Moscow. I think there will be great support for us here and Russia and hopefully that support will spur us on even more, however there will be the additional pressure to perform in front of our home fans."