Russia to host Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013

(IRB.COM) Wednesday 12 May 2010  
 Russia to host Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013
Moscow's iconic Red Square will be one destination high on the list of must-visits for RWC Sevens-bound fans

The IRB Council has awarded Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 to Russia.

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset made the announcement at the Annual Meeting of Council in London on Tuesday afternoon, closing a comprehensive tender process for Rugby Sevens' showpiece event.

"We are delighted to announce that Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 will be hosted by Russia," said Lapasset.

"Council Members were extremely impressed with the Rugby Union of Russia bid and we are sure that Moscow will host a special tournament for the 24 men's and 16 women's teams and the thousands of visiting fans from all around the world."

"As Rugby continues its rapid global development reaching out to new audiences around the world, the hosting of this world class Rugby event in Russia will provide a massive boost for the development of the Game across the region, delivering widespread TV exposure within Russia and across the world."

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 is set to attract unprecedented worldwide interest as the global sporting community looks forward to Rugby Sevens' Olympic Games debut in Rio de Janiero in 2016. It will be a competition that will provide an indication of which men's and women's nations might challenge for the ultimate Sevens prize - an Olympic gold medal.

The announcement comes on the eve of the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in Moscow, the first IRB fifteen-a-side tournament to be held in the country.

"Moscow has an exceptional history of delivering major international sports events and Rugby is riding a wave of development in Russia thanks to the Olympic Games decision and their historic qualification for Rugby World Cup 2011. I am sure that this will be another memorable and successful sporting spectacle," added Lapasset.

Rugby Union of Russia president Vyacheslav Kopiev said that it was a proud moment for his Union and the growth of the Game.

"It is wonderful news to be selected as Host Union for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013," said Kopiev.

"The appointment to host Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 is of enormous significance to Russian Rugby. We are grateful for the trust that the International Rugby Board has shown us and accept this appointment with pride, passion and respect for the responsibilities that we will be undertaking on behalf of world Rugby."

"We believe the appointment to host Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 will, on top of Russia's qualification for Rugby World Cup 2011 and the admission of Rugby into the Olympics, ignite the future of Russian Rugby. The Rugby Union of Russia, with the support of our Government, is committed to achieving our vision, that of Russia becoming a major Rugby nation capable of competing on the world stage."

"I would like to express gratitude to our partners, the City of Moscow and the Russian Federal Government and to my colleagues within the Rugby Union of Russia who have worked so hard on putting our bid document and campaign together."

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 will be the sixth Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament. The inaugural tournament was held in Scotland in 1993 with events following in Hong Kong (1997), Argentina (2001), Hong Kong (2005) and Dubai (2009).

"Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 in Dubai raised the bar for this tournament and ultimately provided a platform for Olympic Games inclusion particularly the inaugural Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens. Significant crowds of 80,000 people attended across the three competition days, with the event broadcast to over 760 million people in 141 countries, smashing all previous tournament records," added Lapasset.

The decision by the International Olympic Committee to include Rugby Sevens in the Olympic Games, beginning in Rio in 2016, has provided an enormous boost to the Game and planning is under way by the IRB on the required qualification process for international teams.

This forms part of a major overhaul of the existing IRB Sevens Strategic Plan, a collaborative process with all Unions that will outline the blueprint for the further growth of the Game around the world in recognition of this significant development.

The Strategic Plan will allow the Game to grow in new markets and ensure that all 117 IRB Member Unions can collaborate with their respective National Olympic Committees and have access to a structured development, tournament and qualifying pathway that optimises the effects of inclusion in the Olympic Programme.

The Rugby Union of Russia was one of eight nations to express a formal interest to host Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 and Russia had previously bid to host Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009.