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Olympic prep moves to Dubai

Six countries have entered seven teams into the Dubai Invitational 7s – two tournaments being played this weekend and next.

Japan took on Canada in a warm-up game today

Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, Kenya and the United States are in Dubai this weekend and next for the Dubai Invitational Sevens.

With news today that the two tournaments planned for Marcoussis next month have both been “postponed” this Olympic warm-up tournament takes on an extra importance as – apart from the Olympic qualifier - there is only one other sevens tournament currently scheduled (Los Angeles, 25-27 June).

At regional level, only Rugby Europe have said that they intend to run any tournaments, but as things stand no venues or dates have been announced for their European Grand Prix.

Most of the participants have sent large squads for the two weekends, especially France who have sent 24 players and will be dividing them into two teams this weekend. In addition, Canada have sent 20 players, and Japan and Kenya 16 each.

In an event like this the experience is perhaps more important than the results, though France will be wanting to improve on their performances in Madrid in February – and that may be why they decided, fairly late on, to enter two teams.

Kenya will also have been disappointed with the Madrid results, and if anything this is a step up from the largely European event in February..

The week will also be invaluable for Canada and Brazil to play competitively for the first time in over a year.

Unfortunately it appears that the tournament will not be streamed

Fixtures

Friday: France v USA; Japan v Kenya; Canada v Brazil; USA v Japan; Kenya v Canada; Brazil v France 2; France v France 2; France v Japan; United States v Kenya; France 2 v Canada; Japan v Brazil

Saturday: Kenya v Brazil; United States v France 2; France v Canada; Japan v Canada; France v Kenya; Japan v France 2; United States v Canada; France 2 v Kenya; United States v Brazil; France v Brazil

Squads

Brazil: Squad not published.

Canada: Delaney Aikens; Elissa Alarie; Olivia Apps; Brittany Benn; Pamphinette Buisa ; Emma Chown; Caroline Crossley ; Bianca Farella ; Julia Greenshields; Asia Hogan-Rochester; Sara Kaljuvee; ; Ghislaine Landry ; Kaili Lukan; Kayla Moleschi; Breanne Nicholas; Karen Paquin ; Florence Symonds; Keyara Wardley; Charity Williams 

France/France 2: Montserrat Amedee; Coralie Bertrand; Anne-Cécile Ciofani; Doriane Constanty; Mathilde Coutouly; Célia Dranes; Caroline Drouin; Teani Feleu; Camille Grassineau; Joanna Grisez; Lina Guerin; Fanny Horta; Shannon Izar; Chloé Jacquet; Nassira Konde; Valentine Lothoz; Romane Menager; Carla Neisen; Séraphine Okemba; Chloé Pelle; Lina Queyroi; Jade Ulutule; Yolaine Yengo

Japan: Yume Ohkuroda; Mei Ohtani; Mele Yua Havili Kagawa; Marin Kajiki; Mifuyu Koide; Mayu Shimizu; Sayaka Suzuki; Honoka Tsutsumi; Hana Nagata     ; Chiharu Nakamura; Wakaba Hara; Yume Hirano; Haruka Hirotsu; Rinka Matsuda; Ayumi Yabuuchi; Mio Yamanaka

Kenya: Philadelphia Olando (C), Sheila Chajira, Celestine Masinde Camilla Cynthia, Christabel Lindo, Enid Ouma, Janet Okello, Diana Awino, Leah Wambui, Sarah Oluche, Naomi Amuguni, Stella Wafula, Judith Auma, Linet Moraa, Sinaida Aura, Terry Ayes

USA: Sui A’au, Lauren Doyle, Abby Gustaitis (co-capt.), Nicole Heavirland, Kristi Kirshe, Ilona Maher, Jordan Matyas, Alena Olsen, Ariana Ramsey, Stephanie Rovetti, Naya Tapper, Kris Thomas (co-capt.)