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Monaco’s Impis shine in Dubai, watched by Prince Albert II

Impis-Monaco-Dubai
The Impis won the tournament for the first time, and with Prince Albert II spectating (Photo ┬ę FMR and Axel Bastello - Prince's Palace)

The Principality rugby team won the Dubai 7s Men’s International Open for the first time in its history.┬á

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After a famous victory at the Melrose Sevens last April, the Impis once again made an impression.

This time they were in Dubai, in the presence of Prince Albert II, who was┬áattending the COP 28, and Nicolas Bonnet’s men lifted the trophy they had been coveting for several years.

Playing against the Nissa Sevens, the Impis gave their opponents no quarter in the final (29-12). It was the culmination of a brilliant run of wins in the group stages and against Butchers 7s (22-12) in the quarter-finals, and Speranza 22 in the semi-finals (26-14).

A hugely successful 2023

“We’ve been working with Gareth (Wittstock) for seven years now, and he’s put in a lot of effort between the Foundation and the Federation,” says Nicolas Bonnet, coach for the team that was set up at the instigation of Princess Charlene and the Monegasque Rugby Federation.

“We’ve had a pretty good 2023 season with this win, the one at Melrose and the national team’s promotion to Europe’s second division. We’ll continue to work to keep moving forward.”

Next up for the Impis is the Melrose Sevens tournament in Scotland in April, where the Monaco team will be defending their title.