06/12/2019 – World Rugby Communications – France stun defending champions New Zealand in Dubai

• France, Australia and USA top women’s pools on day two in Dubai
• France’s women recorded their second ever victory over New Zealand
• Dubai is one of eight women’s events on this season’s circuit
• Play on day three kicks off at 09:00 local time (GMT +4)

France provided the first shock of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens 2019 women's competition by beating defending champions New Zealand 19-14 in the final match of the pool stages on 6 December.

Les Bleues, who beat New Zealand for the first time in another pool decider in Kitakyushu to end their record 38-match unbeaten run on the series back in April, went ahead for the second time in the game with tries from Séraphine Okemba and Joanna Grisez before their defence held firm to close out the win to top Pool C.

France's reward is a Cup quarter-final against Canada, who suffered a record 34-10 defeat by series leaders USA to finish second in Pool A. That will be the second of the quarter-finals with Australia to face Spain in the opening one, the side they beat 38-5 in the Pool B decider at 7he Sevens Stadium.

The third quarter-final pits Fiji against series champions New Zealand, who are bidding to become the first team to successfully defend the Dubai crown. Fiji finished above Spain on points difference in Pool B to reach their first quarter-final since the Paris finale of the 2018 series.

In-form USA, winners of the opening round in Glendale in October and the 2019 series finale in Biarritz, will take on Russia in the remaining quarter-final after they claimed the second-best third-place spot behind Spain.

Dubai is the second of eight women’s tournaments this season and the first combined men’s and women’s event alongside Cape Town, Hamilton, Sydney, Hong Kong and Paris.

On day one, New Zealand, USA, Australia, Canada, France and Spain were all victorious after playing one pool game each before the men’s teams took to the field.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, all men’s and women’s matches at the Dubai Sevens will be played on pitch one for the first time in the event’s history.

The action continues on 7 December with the 11th place play-off between Japan and Brazil, kicking off the day's proceedings at 09:00 local time (GMT+4) at 7he Sevens Stadium. The Cup quarter-finals will follow at 09:44 after the ninth place play-off.