Countdown continues with trophy handover

(IRB.COM) Saturday 1 December 2012  
 Countdown continues with trophy handover
IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper and RUR Vice-President Vladimir Pavlov accept the men's and women's trophies from defending champions Wales and Australia ahead of the RWC Sevens 2013 in Moscow.

With just seven months to go before Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 kicks off in Moscow, the two trophies have been officially handed over to the Rugby Union of Russia (RUR) at a special ceremony at the HSBC Sevens World Series and IRB Women’s Sevens World Series tournaments in Dubai.

The presentation was made by representatives of men’s champions Wales and women’s champions Australia, who will be defending their titles at the tournament, which takes place from June 28-30 at the iconic Luzhniki Stadium in the heart of the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Moscow.

Accepting the trophies on behalf of the RUR was Vice-President Vladimir Pavlov, who promised to extend a warm welcome to all Rugby fans who decide to follow their team to RWC Sevens 2013.

Pavlov said: “Hosting this tournament in Moscow is hugely important to Russian Rugby. We are determined to make this event a success and I can promise all fans that they will be made to feel at home in our beautiful capital city and I am sure they will enjoy the party.”

Full backing of Russian government

“We have the full backing of our government – from the very top. It would not be possible to stage this tournament in Moscow otherwise and we are delighted that all levels of government have pledged their full support behind us.”

Also present at the trophy handover were Rugby World Cup Limited Managing Director Brett Gosper, Gary Chapman (President Group Services Dnata) and Mohamed Falaknaz, chairman of the United Arab Emirates Rugby Federation.

Gosper added: “It will be a special event for fans and teams. It’s going to be a unique Rugby experience in a part of the world with enormous potential for future growth.”

RUR impressed with Dubai tournament

“The delegates from the Rugby Union of Russia and the local organising committee of RWC Sevens 2013 have rightly been impressed with the tournament here in Dubai. RWC Sevens 2009 was staged here with wonderful success and we all know it won’t be an easy act to follow.”

"But RWC Sevens 2013 will be more than a Rugby event for Russia. It will be a platform to reach out to new fans throughout the country and raise awareness of an Olympic sport that continues to grow in interest and participation. The official travel programme will benefit travelling supporters from around the world while tickets have been priced at such a level that will attract a new wave of Russian sports fans curious to experience the Rugby Sevens party for themselves."

Rugby is accelerating in growth and interest in Russia, boosted by the country's love and support of Olympic sports. A strong schools programme in the Moscow region, two professional leagues with strong attendances and a passion for major sporting events points to a very strong crowd at the Luzhniki Stadium, which hosted the Olympic Games in 1980 and, more recently, has staged other top-level sporting events, including the 2008 UEFA Champions League final.

Cultural, music and food festival

The Sevens experience will be further enhanced with a cultural, music and food festival set to provide an additional dimension to a sport that is globally renowned for its high-quality entertainment on and off the field of play.

Working in partnership with the City of Moscow and Russian Government, the RUR has been able to implement an attractive ticketing programme, starting at just US$5 to attract a new wave of Rugby fans.

More information about the tournament can be found here.

Qualified teams for RWC Sevens 2013

Men’s: Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Georgia, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Samoa, South Africa, Spain, Tonga, Tunisia, USA, Wales, Zimbabwe. The final place will be taken by the winners of the South American Sevens Championship in Rio de Janeiro on February 23-24).

Women’s: Australia, Canada, China, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia and USA. The final place will be taken by the winners of the South American Sevens Championship in Rio de Janeiro on February 23-24.