Sevens WC springboard to Olympics
The International Rugby Board has announced that the Sevens World Cup will be retained and integrated into the Olympic Games cycle.
The International Rugby Board has announced that, following consultation with Member Unions and major stakeholders, the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament will be retained and integrated into the Olympic Games cycle.
The decision to integrate the event within the middle of the Olympic cycle will provide a key high performance pathway for teams around the world, ensuring optimum competitiveness at the Olympic Games.
With 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams competing at the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, RWC Sevens 2013 currently includes 24 men’s and 16 women’s teams, thus providing vital world-class competition for a greater number of players.
RWC Sevens also provides opportunities to more cities to host a major international rugby event, showcasing the game to a global audience and driving interest and participation.
In order for the quadrennial tournament to be integrated into the Olympic cycle in the most effective manner, the next event following RWC Sevens 2013 in Moscow will take place in 2018.
This will ensure an Olympic Games or RWC Sevens will take place every two years and allow RWC Sevens to be used as a key springboard for Unions towards the Games.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “RWC Sevens provides an opportunity for a large number of nations to compete at a high level. Like all Olympic sports, we believe that a world championship event will increase competitiveness, interest and participation, slotting into the multi-sport Games cycle and enhancing Rugby Sevens in the Olympic Games and the sport as a whole.”
“Moscow 2013 is a reflection of the truly global reach of our sport and the event is on track to be a wonderful success. With unprecedented interest in hosting Rugby Sevens events, spurred on by inclusion in the Olympic Games, I am sure we can anticipate a keenly contested tender process for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018.”
From June 28-30, the 2013 edition of the record-breaking event takes place at the iconic Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, which will see the finest Rugby Sevens players on the planet showcase their skills ahead of the Rio Olympic Games in three years’ time.
These are exciting times for Rugby Sevens, which has been a catalyst for Rugby's growth into new territories since the IOC decision in 2009 and a spearhead for the sport become a truly global sport.
The 2012/13 IRB Sevens World Series enjoyed yet another record year, while the debut IRB Women's Sevens World Series captured the imagination, giving the best women's Sevens players a highly-competitive, structured and global platform to showcase their talent.
Details of the tender process for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 will be announced in due course after the Moscow event.