17 Mar Saracens, Africa Pacific Dragons boost World Club 10s in Mauritius
Reigning English champions and star-studded Africa-Pacific invitational side join three-time European winners RC Toulon and Super Rugby giants Aquis Brumbies and Cell C Sharks
March 17, 2016: Reigning English champions Saracens and Africa Pacific Dragons are the latest teams confirmed for the World Club 10s, which will be held in Mauritius from June 18-19. The two teams were announced at a press conference in Port Louis on Thursday.
South Africa’s Cell C Sharks and three-time European Champions Cup winners RC Toulon were confirmed at the tournament’s launch in February, while Australia’s in-form Aquis Brumbies and Top 14 holders Stade Francais Paris were announced earlier this month. The two remaining sides will be announced soon.
The presence of the English, French and European champions in Mauritius boosts the chance of the tournament’s first northern-hemisphere winner, after Auckland franchise Blues won the inaugural edition in Singapore two years ago.
Saracens secured their second Premiership title last season, edging table-toppers Northampton away in the semis before beating Bath 28-16 in the final in front of 80,000 fans at Twickenham.
Established in 1876, Saracens are London’s premier rugby club, competing in the Aviva Premiership, the European Champions Cup and the Anglo-Welsh Cup. From humble beginnings, ‘Sarries’ have developed into one of world rugby’s most respected, renowned and recognisable teams.
On the pitch, the ‘Men in Black’ are enjoying a period of unbridled success after a record breaking 2014/15 season in which the north Londoners won six domestic trophies, including a historic league and cup double.
Off the pitch, with a move to Allianz Park in Barnet in 2013, Saracens have won numerous awards for their community work.
Heath Harvey, CEO of Saracens, said: “As Saracens celebrates its 140th birthday, the club is really excited to confirm its participation in the World Club 10s in Mauritius. We’re joining an impressive line-up of teams, which now features the reigning champions of England, France and Europe, as well as the Brumbies, Sharks and Asia Pacific Dragons.
“The World Club 10s marks Saracens’ first time to Mauritius, a special destination for a special tournament.”
Asia Pacific Dragons (APDs) finished third in the inaugural World Club 10s and are one of two teams – along with Brumbies, runners-up in 2014 – to return to the eight-team competition.
Founded in 2011, APDs have a strong track record in 10-a-side rugby, having won the famous GFI HKFC 10s in Hong Kong three times in their five appearances, while they also won the SCC Sevens in Singapore in 2013.
APDs also have a good reputation in 15-a-side, last month going down 34-26 to Western Force in a rematch of the teams’ pre-season encounter last year. In 2013, APDs upset Japan 35-29 as Eddie Jones’ side prepared for the Asian 5 Nations, while the APDs also won the Chartis Cup in Hong Kong in 2011 and 2012, beating an invitational World XV and Saracens respectively.
All Blacks legends Mils Muliaina, Justin Marshall, Christian Cullen, Jimmy Cowan and Jerry Collins, Wallaby heroes George Gregan, George Smith and Radike Samo, ‘Samoan Bulldozer’ Alesana Tuilagi, Fijian stars Nemani Nadolo and Rupeni Caucau, and Tonga captain Nili Latu are among the many stars to play for the APDs.
Tana Umaga and David Campese have both coached the side, with the former guiding the APDs to three GFI HKFC 10s wins in four years.
The eight-team World Club 10s is again supported by tournaments for amateur clubs, universities, women’s teams and age-group sides, many competing in Mauritius for the first time.
Arnaud Martin, Chairman of Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), said: “We’re very excited that English champions Saracens and the Asia Pacific Dragons are joining the World Club 10s in Mauritius as this event builds some great momentum.
“The UK has traditionally been our third-strongest market and visitor arrivals have grown significantly, so we look forward to welcoming Saracens and British visitors for a truly special sporting spectacle in our country. The Asia Pacific Dragons field many of rugby’s most famous players, so they’re also sure to be a popular side.”
The 2016 World Club 10s is sponsored by Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, Air Mauritius and Beachcomber Hotels, sanctioned by World Rugby and Rugby Union Mauritius, and owned and organised by Carinat Marketing.
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About World Club 10s
Owned and organised by Carinat Sports Marketing, the World Club 10s is an eight-team, 10-a-side invitational rugby tournament featuring leading professional clubs from around the world. The second edition will be held at the 16,000-capacity Anjalay Stadium in Mauritius from June 18-19, 2016. Clubs include Cell C Sharks (South Africa), Aquis Brumbies (Australia), Saracens (England), and RC Toulon and Stade Francais (both France). Each team plays six 20-minute matches over the weekend, as the tournament features two round-robin pools of four on the Saturday and 12 knockout matches on the Sunday. Sponsors include Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, Air Mauritius and Beachcomber Hotels. The first World Club 10s was held in Singapore in June 2014 and was the first international sports event held in the newly opened 55,000-seat National Stadium at the Singapore Sports Hub. The Blues (New Zealand) won the final by beating Brumbies (Australia) 10-5 after extra-time. Other teams came from France, England, Wales, Italy, Samoa and Asia-Pacific.