Sevens has historically been part of Welsh rugby DNA
The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) are preparing a bid to host the IRB World Cup Sevens in Wales in 2018.
Wales, the current World Sevens champions, will defend the title they won in Dubai four years ago later this month in the 2013 event in Moscow.
The WRU are to bid to host the next showpiece tournament which will take place in five years’ time in 2018. The event has been moved to fit in line between the Olympic Games in 2016 and 2020, in the first of which, Sevens will be instated.
WRU Group Chief Executive, Roger Lewis said: “Major sporting events around the world are so important in defining a country in terms of its culture, its value and its beliefs. The economic benefits of global sporting events for host nations are considerable.
“We have got eight games in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, we are bidding for the European Cup Finals next year and we are preparing a bid for the 2018 IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens to come to Cardiff. The impact of these great rugby occasions will be felt on and off the field.
“We go to Moscow in a few weeks’ time as the holders of the Rugby World Cup Sevens which we won in Dubai in 2009 and that will be an amazing event for the Russian capital.
“The eyes of the world will be on Russia and I want to bring that focus to Cardiff and Wales in 2018.
“Rugby Sevens has recently grown exponentially across the world and it’s going to continue to grow over the coming 10 years and we want the WRU to play a part in encouraging its success.
“We have a great Sevens team in Wales, Paul John has done a great job. Sevens has historically been part of our Welsh rugby DNA and its now capturing the imagination of the world.
“I’ve informed the IRB of our proposal and also the Welsh Government. We have built a reputation for delivering world class events at the WRU with an outstanding team of people – we aim to give our bid the best possible chance of success.”
The man entrusted with defending Wales’ World Cup crown in Moscow at the end of this month has welcomed the WRU’s decision to bid for the hosting of the 2018 World Cup Sevens tournament.
Wales team manager Dai Jenkins guided Wales to a shock triumph four years ago in Dubai where his unheralded side stunned the world to claim title glory as 80-1 outsiders. Jenkins and head coach John are now plotting their defence as this year’s tournament rapidly approaches.
The 2018 tournament will include both men’s and women’s competitions and according to Jenkins there couldn’t be a better place to stage the IRB’s flagship event.
“The bid is great news for rugby fans not only in Wales, but worldwide,” explained Jenkins. “Since 2007 the IRB’s world series has grown into a magnificent event and the World Cup is the pinnacle of the sport.
“To host the 2018 World Cup would be brilliant news for the fans and the players. The Millennium Stadium is a fantastic venue and has already gained a reputation as being the best stadium in the world.
“As a management group we are proud of what the Sevens game has done for Wales. Looking at the British and Irish Lions in Australia, Jamie Roberts, Justin Tipuric and Alex Cuthbert are just three players who have come through the Sevens system here in Wales.
“Out in Japan Owen Williams and Dafydd Howells both got capped last weekend along with Rhys Patchell who have all played for Wales in Sevens, so it’s a proven breeding ground for future Wales internationals.
"With Sevens featuring in the next Olympics the game is going to grow even further so to have the opportunity of playing the World Cup at your home venue is going to be huge for Wales.”