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Russia unveil World Cup blueprint

Sat, 12 May 2012 00:00
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Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) and the Rugby Union of Russia have announced that World Cup Sevens 2013 will take place in Moscow from June 28 to 30, with tournament organisers anticipating an outstanding event on and off the field.

With the game in Russia really taking off, interest is already building ahead of an event that will see 24 teams vying for the coveted Melrose Cup in the men's section, while the top 16 women’s teams in the world will also compete at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Three years out from Sevens’ Olympic Games debut at the Rio Games, the showcase event will provide a compelling indication of form for the world's top Sevens nations and underscore the ever-increasing global competitiveness in both men's and Women's Sevens.

The World Cup Sevens is the premier international Rugby Sevens competition contested by the men’s and women’s national sevens teams every four years. The inaugural tournament was held in 1993 in Scotland, the birthplace of Sevens, and the 2013 edition will be the sixth in the tournament’s history.

Wales are the current men’s world champions, having won the tournament in Dubai in 2009 with Australia having taken the inaugural women’s title. Fiji has won the men’s tournament twice with New Zealand and England also having won the title. The men’s winner is awarded the Melrose Cup, named after the Scottish town where Sevens was first played.

The ambassadors for the event have also been unveiled as Russian players Vladimir Ostroushko, Vasiliy Artemyev, Anastasia Mukharyamova and Elena Shevtsova.

With Sevens forming part of the programme for the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, coupled with the ever-increasing popularity of the Sevens World Series, the shorter format of the game continues to go from strength to strength.

One of those to benefit from the addition of Rugby to the Olympic family is host nation Russia. The Russian government has pledged his government’s support to the sport and the tournament as the host seeks to build a team of world-beaters in time for next year’s tournament and with an eye on Rio.

"The IRB has shown great vision by entrusting the running of this great tournament to us," said Vyacheslav Kopiev, Rugby Union of Russia President.

"We have made real progress in recent years and World Cup Sevens 2013 will be the next step along the way to Russia becoming a rugby superpower. Indeed, our national team’s performances at the recent RWC in New Zealand showed the world how far we have already come along the way."

World Cup Sevens 2013 will see the finest men’s and women’s teams battle for a prize that will set the scene ahead of Sevens’ Olympic Games debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The Rugby Union of Russia, the city of Moscow and the Russian Government will work together to host an event that will showcase the best of Russia and the very best of Sevens.

"We are committed to delivering an exceptional event. We hope to welcome supporters from other countries to Moscow while also engaging the local population and switching them on to Sevens," added Kopiev.

International Rugby Board Chairman Bernard Lapasset said he was expecting Moscow 2013 to be an exceptional event.

"The IRB is committed to growing the game in emerging and new territories and the awarding of World Cup Sevens 2013 to Moscow underscores our commitment to this process," said Lapasset.

"Moscow 2013 will not just be an exceptional global showcase, with the support of the Russian Government it will provide the platform to boost participation and interest in a country that really is embracing rugby.

"We are excited about the potential of Sevens. We are already a long way down the road in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games where our finest men’s and women’s Sevens athletes will have the opportunity to compete on the world’s greatest sporting stage."

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