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Record number of OTAs for RWC Sevens 2013(IRB.COM) Tuesday 5 February 2013

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Sevens fans can buy tickets for RWC Sevens 2013 from as little as US$5

Organisers of Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow have announced a record number of official travel agencies (OTAs) have been appointed, underscoring the global appeal of the showcase event.

So far nine OTAs have been appointed by the Rugby Union of Russia (RUR) and with a user-friendly visa process also in place, it is now easier than ever for fans to take their seat for this thrill-a-minute tournament, which takes place from June 28-30 at the world famous Luzhniki Stadium.

All OTAs offer fun-packed trips to this festival of Rugby and music planned for the vibrant and exciting Russian capital, and with several airlines offering competitive prices on direct flights – including as low as £50 from the UK – and tickets for the tournament on sale from just US$5, RWC Sevens 2013 looks set to provide a global showcase for the best Sevens has to offer.

Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 is one of the must-see events on the global sporting calendar this year and an opportunity for sports fans in Russia and around the world to see an Olympic sport that brings people together for a festival of world-class Rugby, entertainment and fun in one of the world's most vibrant cities."

"The appointment of a global official travel agent programme reflects the strong reach and appeal of a sport that continues to attract new fans around the world. Interest is high, preparations are on track and I am sure that Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 will be a resounding success."

The OTAs are spread across South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Japan, France and Spain. More agencies will be appointed in due course.

The agent appointments follow a comprehensive tender evaluation and selection process and will ensure Rugby supporters from around the world are offered a choice of travel packages based on content and price.

Tickets are on sale via the tournament website, www.rwcsevens.com.

CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS AND JOIN THE PARTY >>

The agents appointed so far are:
New Zealand – Experience Group, All Blacks Tours
USA – Great Atlantic Travel
Japan – J-World
South Africa – Makro Travel, Marabou Travel
UK – TUI/Gullivers, TUI/Sport Abroad, Thomson Sport
UAE – Emirates Live, Etihad Airways
Spain – ViajesDivertis
Canada – Merit Sports Travel
France – Couleur Voyages

http://www.rwcsevens.com/home/news/newsid=2065214.html#record+number+otas+rwc+sevens+2013



Rugby in Russia set for huge boost(IRB.COM) Wednesday 12 December 2012

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Moscow will form a spectacular backdrop to RWC Sevens 2013

Staging Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow will be a shot in the arm for Rugby in Russia and the catalyst for accelerated growth in that country, according to the Vice-President of the Rugby Union of Russia (RUR).

Speaking in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where he was making a presentation to the Confédération Africaine de Rugby (CAR), Howard Thomas said that with less than seven months to go before RWC Sevens 2013 kicks off in Moscow, the local excitement was already building.

Thomas said: “Hosting this tournament in Moscow is hugely important to Russian Rugby. It will accelerate interest and participation in our country. Rugby is already going from strength to strength and we are determined to make this event a success."

"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. It has never been easier to travel to Moscow with a simplified visa process, appointed Official Travel Agents and attractive ticket pricing.”

The RUR delegation’s visit to Port Elizabeth coincided with the staging of the HSBC Sevens World Series round in the Eastern Cape city and follows the official handing over of the two cups to Vladimir Pavlov of the RUR at a special ceremony the previous week in Dubai. RWC Sevens 2013 organisers also recently presented to the FIRA-AER Assembly in Paris as well as Rugby World Cup Limited in Dublin.

Thomas added: “Our delegation that has travelled to Dubai and now Port Elizabeth has been hugely impressed with the success of the HSBC Sevens World Series and the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series. We are fully aware of our responsibility to ensure RWC Sevens 2013 continues the incredible progress of Rugby Sevens for players and fans alike. We are determined to deliver a spectacular event en route to the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio."

Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Following the success of Dubai in hosting RWC Sevens 2009, we are all looking forward to next year’s edition. That anticipation is heightened even more knowing it is set to take place in such a vibrant and exciting place as Moscow.”

“It is important that we continue to push the boundaries of Rugby and grow the Game beyond its traditional heartlands so it’s great to hear it means so much to Russian Rugby to have this opportunity.”

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.

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.

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, Scotland, 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.

http://www.rwcsevens.com/home/news/newsid=2064798.html#rugby+russia+huge+boost

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RWC Sevens pool draw - Form guide (IRB.COM) Tuesday 26 February 2013 Canada are a danger team in band three having beaten Fiji, South Africa, Kenya, USA and Scotland in bands above them al

New Zealand's Men Confirm Place in Top Band for RWC Sevens 2013

2/11/2013

New Zealand's Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 title ambitions have been given a massive boost after the International Rugby Board confirmed the All Blacks Sevens have secured the position as number one seeds for the showcase event in Moscow on June 28-30.

Despite being beaten 40-23 by South Africa in Sunday’s Cup final at the Las Vegas round of the HSBC Sevens World Series, consistency over the past two full Series as well as during a compelling current campaign, has seen New Zealand build an unassailable points lead ahead of the RWC Sevens Pool Allocation Draw, which takes place in Moscow on February 28.

New Zealand will be joined in band one for the Rugby World Cup Sevens Pool Allocation Draw by Fiji, South Africa, England, Samoa and Australia, who have all secured their places.

New Zealand’s experienced playmaker Tomasi Cama said: “Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow is the big focus for us this year. We haven’t won it for many years now so we want to turn that around in 2013. We are using the series as our preparation for that. Hopefully we will win the series first and then take that form into the tournament.”

“We want all the supporters to come from New Zealand and from all over the world to Moscow – it’s going to be a great event. It will be good to see everyone there. I have never been to Moscow before so fingers crossed I will make the team to Rugby World Cup Sevens.”

“It’s going to be very exciting to be in Moscow and to play in the Rugby Sevens World Cup will be a huge thrill for me and the rest of the guys. Hopefully, we will be able to do our country proud when we get there,” added the 32-year-old, who was named IRB Sevens Player of the Year 2012, in association with HSBC.

Band two for the draw will be populated by defending champions Wales, Argentina, France, Kenya, Scotland and USA while the third tier will include Canada, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Tonga and Zimbabwe.

Band four consists of Japan, Hong Kong, Georgia, Tunisia, Philippines and the final qualifier from the South American region.

Meanwhile, the women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens rankings were confirmed last week with England, Australia, Canada and USA making up the top band.

RWC Sevens 2013 will be staged at Moscow’s premier sports venue, Luzhniki Stadium, which has previously hosted the Olympic Games and the final of the UEFA Champions League, while the Pool Allocation Draw will take place on February 28 at Petroff Palace.

Men's Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 Rankings

1. New Zealand 429

2. Fiji 349

3. South Africa 338

4. Samoa 324

5. England 304

6. Australia 227

7. Wales 197

8. Argentina 183

9. France 144

10. Kenya 113

11. Scotland 93

12. USA 79

13. Canada 77

14. Portugal 49

15. Spain 42

16. Russia 19

17. Tonga 19

18. Zimbabwe 12

19. Japan 10

20. Hong Kong 5

21. Georgia 0

22. Tunisia 0

23. Philippines 0

24. S American Q* 0

The four bands of six for the men are as follows:

Band 1: New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa, Samoa, England, Australia

Band 2: Wales, Argentina, France, Kenya, Scotland, USA

Band 3: Canada, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Tonga, Zimbabwe

Band 4: Japan, Hong Kong, Georgia, Tunisia, Philippines, South American Qualifier

The men’s seeding takes into account the past two full HSBC Seven World Series seasons as well as the events in the current season up to the date of the Pool Allocation Draw. The IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup tournaments held in 2011/12 provided international rugby sevens competition for the first time since RWC Sevens 2009 and this, together with the first two legs of the inaugural IRB Women's Sevens World Series, has enabled the current playing strength of teams to be used to band teams.

For the men's competition, teams will be divided into six pools of four and play in a round-robin format over the first two days before progressing to the knockout phase on the final day. The women's teams will be split into four pools of four and play in a round-robin format over the first day of their competition (June 29) before progressing to knockout phase on the final day. This will provide a total of 100 Sevens matches over the three days.

*The 24 men’s teams and 16 women’s teams have nearly all been determined with only the South America region yet to hold its qualifying tournament. That event will take place from February 23-24 in Rio de Janeiro, the location for Rugby’s historic return to the Olympic Games programme in 2016.

http://www.aroundtherings.com/articles/view.aspx?id=42313

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England Women's Sevens top Rugby World Cup seedings


Thursday, February 07, 2013


England's victory in round two of the IRB Women's Sevens World Series last weekend has secured their position as number one seeds for this year's World Cup.


Yeovil ace Marlie Packer featured in all four of her country's matches in Houston, Texas, scoring two tries against Trinidad and Tobago in her debut tournament.


The Bristol flanker and former Buckler's Mead Academy pupil will now be hoping to figure for the Red Rose outfit in the World Cup Sevens in Moscow at the end of June.


England twice beat Dubai champions New Zealand on the way to lifting the United States trophy, climbing to the top of the format's seedings in the process.


The RWC Sevens 2013 pool allocation draw takes place in Moscow on February 28, with England joined in the top band of seedings based on combined results from the 2011-12 Challenge Cup and 2012-13 World Series by Australia, Canada and United States.


England powerhouse Heather Fisher said: "Women's rugby sevens is really competitive these days and I think that bodes well for the World Cup in June.


"The final in Houston could have involved any one of the top eight sides because there was very little between anyone.


"This is a fantastic result for us and a platform for us to build on for the next few months heading into the World Cup."


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I hope this event continues to grow, however as we are seeing this year, the teams are re-gearing towards the Olympic cycle and focussing on that event as the ultimate goal.

Russia needs to pull off a spectacular three days.

As a side, here in NZ, this years Wellington Sevens seemed to not have the same sparkle it has had in previous years...Tickets sell out in minutes yet seats are still empty. Families stay away. People are getting sick of the rowdy 'costume clown show' that has pretty much stamped itslef on the event. What started off as a clever marketing stunt by the waitresses and barstaff of a large Hotel (the infamous 'Towel Girls') back in 2001, some of the costumes today border on the ridiculous.

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:blink: True dude...USA have moved leaps and bounds since Sevens returned rugby to the Olympics...But hey, they are only one point above Canada.

...and lets not forget that USA are the defending Olympic champion - they really do take that seriously.

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I hope this event continues to grow, however as we are seeing this year, the teams are re-gearing towards the Olympic cycle and focussing on that event as the ultimate goal.

Russia needs to pull off a spectacular three days.

As a side, here in NZ, this years Wellington Sevens seemed to not have the same sparkle it has had in previous years...Tickets sell out in minutes yet seats are still empty. Families stay away. People are getting sick of the rowdy 'costume clown show' that has pretty much stamped itslef on the event. What started off as a clever marketing stunt by the waitresses and barstaff of a large Hotel (the infamous 'Towel Girls') back in 2001, some of the costumes today border on the ridiculous.

I stay away from the Wellington sevens becasue of the driking culture. It needs to tone down. I want to go and actually watch the rugby rather than deal with drunken idiots.

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I stay away from the Wellington sevens becasue of the driking culture. It needs to tone down. I want to go and actually watch the rugby rather than deal with drunken idiots.

True...just proves what a bunch of juveniles GenY has become when it comes to drinking. The early years of the Wellington Sevens were brilliant, they seemed to be in control.

Next year's event is suppose to have a change in direction re: the silliness...also the stadium its'self is getting started on a major refurb.

Suddenly the 'Dunedin Sevens' has a nice ring to it.

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Brazil and Uruguay victorious at CONSUR Sevens and qualify for RWC7s in Moscow

Uruguay’s men and Brazil’s women have claimed the final remaining spots at the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013, which will take place from June 28-30 in Moscow’s iconic Luzhniki Stadium.

The CONSUR Sevens Championship took place over the weekend in Rio de Janeiro in a tournament that doubled as the South America qualification tournament for RWC Sevens.

There were few surprises as far as the women’s section was concerned, with Brazil taking the title for a ninth consecutive year. But despite their dominance in the region, Brazil had to fight very hard in the final to beat a spirited Argentina side, coached by Sevens legend Santiago Gómez Cora. Under a blazing sun in Rio, the Brazilians won 27-14.

...

Meanwhile, Uruguay’s men were unable to defend their CONSUR Sevens title successfully but their position in the final against Argentina, who had automatically qualified for the RWC Sevens in Moscow, means they will compete at a third consecutive RWC Seve

..

http://ur7s.com/news/2371/brazil_and_uruguay_victorious_at_consur_sevens_and_qualify_for_rwc7s_in_moscow

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CONSUR Sevens Summary

Argentina and Uruguay celebrate in Rio

(IRB.COM) Monday 25 February 2013

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By Frankie Deges in Rio de Janeiro

Following an enthralling weekend of action at the CONSUR Sevens in Rio de Janeiro there were plenty of reasons to celebrate for teams from South America.

Argentina won the title, Uruguay qualified for Rugby World Cup Sevens and hosts Brazil took third place to join Uruguay at the Hong Kong Sevens in March as one of the South American qualifiers with a chance to go to London and an opportunity of qualifying as a core team on HSBC World Sevens Series.

Uruguay were unable to successfully defend their CONSUR Sevens title, but their position in the final against Argentina, who had automatically qualified for the RWC Sevens in Moscow, means they will compete at a third consecutive RWC Sevens.

“We are delighted with qualification to Moscow,” said Juan Diego Ormaechea, who celebrated with his brother Agustin, who was also in the team.

“We took this tournament with the seriousness it demanded and we had a long and hard preparation. Going to RWC Sevens was our reward but we really wanted to be champions.”

Momentum

Their day began under the sun with a 45-0 win against Venezuela to complete the pool matches which gave them momentum going into the round robin.

In their first match of the round robin they narrowly beat Chile 10-7, with two unconverted tries. The Chileans, committed as they are, scored two minutes from the end, but could not close the game due to unforced errors that eventually cost them the game.

But it was their victory against Brazil that secured their place in Moscow and they won with clinical precision, taking a 17-0 lead before the locals hit back with a try. When the final whistle went, their subdued celebration was, as Ormaechea explained “because we still had a game to play which in essence became the final against Argentina.”

Argentina were deserved champions. After beating Colombia 27-0, they opened the round robin against Brazil with a 31-12 win, and then had to fight hard against both Chile (14-0) and Uruguay (19-5) in what was essentially the men’s final.

“Our goal was to win the tournament; tough as it was,” said Lucas Alcacer. “We are happy because the win was thanks to the way we played. The team showed character in the key games.”

Chile left empty handed – their 7-all draw against Brazil – saw the home side take third place after officials had to check the tournament manual to find who had finished third, and with it a ticket to the Hong Kong Sevens. The Tupis scored 26 points against the Chileans 14 in the round robin.

"It came down to heart and passion," said coach Dallas Seymour. "I am delighted for this team because they really deserve it."

Fifth place went to Colombia who beat Peru 19-14, and Guatemala avoided the wodden spoon, beating Ecuador 19-17.

DAY TWO RESULTS:

Pool matches:
Colombia 31 – Ecuador 0
Uruguay 45 – Venezuela 0
Brazil 29 – Paraguay 0
Argentina 27 – Colombia 0
Chile 28 – Peru 7


Round robin
Uruguay 10 – Chile 7
Argentina 24 – Brazil 12
Uruguay 17 – Brazil 7
Argentina 14 – Chile 0
Brazil 7 – Chile 7
Argentina 19 – Uruguay 5


5th place play off semi final
Peru 14 – Paraguay 7
Colombia 12 – Venezuela 5

5th place play off
Colombia 19 – Peru 14

9th place play off
Guatemala 19 – Ecuador 17

Final Standings
Champion: Argentina
Second: Uruguay
Third: Brazil
Fourth: Chile
Fifth: Colombia
Sixth: Peru
Seventh: Paraguay
Eighth: Venezuela
Ninth: Guatemala
Tenth: Ecuador

http://www.rwcsevens.com/men/news/newsid=2065506.html#argentina+uruguay+celebrate+rio

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Brazil women claim final place at RWC Sevens

(IRB.COM) Monday 25 February 2013

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Brazil are the final qualifiers for Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 after continuing their dominance of South American rugby

By Frankie Deges, in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil may have won the CONSUR Sevens Championship for a ninth consecutive year, but their celebrations were just as loud as the first time back in 2004.

The added bonus this time was that Brazil, as South American champions, have claimed the 16th and final place at Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013, which takes place in Moscow, Russia, from 28-30 June.

Despite their dominance in the region, Brazil had to fight very hard in the final against an Argentina team coached by Santiago Gómez Cora, the all-time leading try-scorer in IRB Rugby Sevens history, that has shown a renewed confidence and spirit.

The women’s final was the last match played at Estádio da Gávea in Rio de Janeiro under intense heat – temperatures hit the high 30s at midday – was one of the best of the men’s and women’s tournaments.

Brazil, led by the evergreen Julia Sardá, opened what seemed an unassailable 20-0 lead with five minutes to play, but Argentina never laid down.

With the men’s team that had won their own final in the previous game supporting them, the Argentineans found a new impetus with two quick converted tries to narrow the gap to only six points with a long minute to go before the final whistle.

Mission accomplished

A lost ball allowed Brazil to counterattack and it was Sardá, one of four players who played in the inaugural Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai in 2009 when Brazil lost the Bowl final to China, who ran unopposed under the posts to start the celebrations.

“It is the feeling of mission accomplished,” admitted Sardá after receiving the trophy from CONSUR President Carlos Barbieri.

“It is great to win again, but we never take anything for granted and had worked very hard with our coach Youssef Driss and our fitness trainer Darryl Collins to ensure that we were all ready and confident.

“We are trying a new brand of rugby and this is a very important win.”

Her team scored 28 tries for a total of 164 points, while conceding just 26 points in five matches.

Brazil had earlier had no problems in defeating Venezuela 34-0 in the first semi final. Argentina, meanwhile, came through a difficult semi final with neighbours Uruguay.

The 17-7 score line slightly flattered the winners, who found a lucky try when the ball bounced off a couple of Uruguayan legs in a strange incident.

Regional growth

They took their pride into the final, but one of the reasons of Brazil’s long regional domination is that they are the best team in CONSUR.

Uruguay managed to put their disappointment aside to beat Venezuela 17-5 in the third place play-off.

“It was great to be in Rio de Janeiro and see first hand the growth of the Game in this region,” said IRB Women’s Development Manager Susan Carty.

“There has been some really good quality rugby in what is a young region in terms of the development of the Women’s Game.”

A day after the tournament, the eight national coaches will come together for a workshop to help them progress the Sevens game in the region. Carty will then travel to Colombia to monitor the progress of Women’s Rugby there.

This event also marked the first time a female referee took charge of a men’s match in an international Sevens tournament in South America, with South African Marlize Jordaan having that honour.

Day two results

Fifth to eighth place
Chile 31-0 Paraguay
Colombia 19-0 Peru

Seventh place play-off: Peru 15-12 Paraguay

Fifth place play-off: Colombia 19-5 Chile

Cup semi finals
Brazil 34-0 Venezuela
Argentina 17-7 Uruguay

Third place play-off: Uruguay 17-5 Venezuela

Final: Brazil 27-14 Argentina

Final standings
Champion: Brazil
Runners-up: Argentina
Third: Uruguay
Fourth: Venezuela
Fifth: Colombia
Sixth: Chile
Seventh: Peru
Eighth: Paraguay

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RWC Sevens pool draw - Form guide


(IRB.COM) Tuesday 26 February 2013


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Canada are a danger team in band three having beaten Fiji, South Africa, Kenya, USA and Scotland in bands above them already this season


The RWC Sevens 2013 pool allocation draw takes place at Petroff Palace in Moscow on 28 February, placing the 16 women's teams into four pools of four and the 24 men's teams into six pools of four.


The 24 men's teams are ranked in four bands of six, determined by series points accumulated over the 2010/11 and 2011/12 HSBC Sevens World Series, and the first five rounds of the current 2012/13 Series. However, with fortunes varying so far this season and the level of competition more even than ever before, the draw could throw up some intriguing group stages.

For example, the draw could produce a pool featuring Australia, Kenya, Canada and Uruguay - the teams currently ranked, respectively, 11th, 6th, 10th and 17th in the Series.


Equally, there could be an All-African group featuring South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Tunisia, and an an all-European pool featuring England, Wales/France/Scotland, Portugal/Spain/Russia, Georgia.

Here is a lowdown on the four bands and the six national sides in each of them.

Pool draw band 1: New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa, Samoa, England, Australia


Of these six teams, only Australia have not won a Cup title in the five rounds played on the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series. There are no guarantees that things will go their way in Moscow, though, as the 2009 World Cup proved. Samoa was the only one of these six to reach the semi-finals in Dubai after an unbelievable set of quarter-finals.


New Zealand - current Series ranking: 1st


Consistency has once again marked them out this season, reaching four of the five Cup finals and winning the title in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. They look odds-on to win their 11th Series title, but have not lifted the Melrose Cup since 2001 in Mar del Plata, where Jonah Lomu was the star. They have had a few injury concerns this season, not least losing their captain DJ Forbes and chief flyer Kurt Baker to injury in Wellington, but they should recover and it will be interesting to see whether coach Gordon Tietjens spruces up his squad with Super Rugby stars and All Blacks, as he did to such good effect in Delhi with the likes of Hosea Gear.


Fiji - current Series ranking: 4th


Fiji have won the Rugby World Cup Sevens twice, Waisale Serevi last lifting it in Hong Kong in 2005, but in 2009 an ageing team of 15's stars brought together at the last minute were taught something of a lesson by Kenya in the Cup quarters. This season the Fijians have used more players on the Series than anyone else and have relied heavily on certain players gelling the effort together, especially captain Setefano Cakau and playmaker Joji Raqamate. Will they be able to strike the right balance in time for Moscow?


South Africa - current Series ranking: 2nd


How Blitzbokke coach Paul Treu would dearly love to land the Melrose Cup. Series winners in 2008/09, the South Africans were the first to move to centrally-contracted full-time players for Sevens and it's brought consistency but not yet the expected torrent of silverware. They struck gold last time out at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas, though, and currently lie second in the HSBC Sevens World Series. Will be even stronger if Cecil Afrika and captain Kyle Brown can return from injury.


Samoa - current Series ranking: 3rd


In relative terms, Samoa's Sevens team achieved one of the greatest feats in sporting history by winning the World Series in 2010/11, but they're now having to do without the likes of Uale Mai, Ofisa Treviranus and Alafoti Fa'osiliva, key men from the past. They won the Dubai title at the end of 2012 though with Paul Perez, Lio Lolo and Robert Lilomaiava spearheading the new recruits.


England - current Series ranking: 9th


England's form this season has been impossible to predict, but generally far below what they or anyone else would have expected. Well under-par in failing to make a single Cup quarter final in the first three rounds, they clicked emphatically to win the Cup title in Wellington, before bombing to three consecutive pool losses on day one in Las Vegas a week later.


Australia - current Series ranking: 11th


Like England, Australia have struggled with injuries to key players for much of the season, notably missing their captain Ed Jenkins. They're currently 11th in the Series and in danger of flirting with the dreaded core team relegation dog fight at the end of the season, although it was at this stage last year that they kick-started their season, winning in Tokyo.


Pool draw band 2: Wales, Argentina, France, Kenya, Scotland, USA


Wales - current Series ranking: 8th

Argentina- current Series ranking: 7th


The reigning Rugby World Cup Sevens champions, Wales, and the runners-up from four years ago in Dubai, Argentina, both lie in wait in this second band of teams to be drawn, which is packed with quality. Wales and Argentina lie eighth and seventh in the World Series respectively, having made three Cup quarter finals out of five - more than both England and Australia in the band above them. Both have a settled look to them this season, although in terms of quality perhaps not up with the vintages of 2009.


France - current Series ranking: 5th

Kenya - current Series ranking: 6th


Band two also contains the surprise packages of the season so far in France and Kenya, who on current form would both be in the top band. With a centrally-contracted group of Sevens players together and committed for the first time, the French have been a revelation, especially at the end of 2012 when they ended the first three rounds in second place overall. Disappointing in Wellington, they responded in Las Vegas and rounded off their fortnight with a 40-7 win against England and a tighter win against Argentina to take a competitive Bowl. Currently deservedly fifth in the Series standings. The Kenyans, under former England coach Mike Friday, have undergone even more of a change in focus and fortunes. Disciplined and physical, they've added a defensive steel to their ability to sprint. Core skills can sometimes let them down still, but it takes some team to beat New Zealand in Wellington in a Cup semi final. Sixth in the world at the moment, and not by accident.


Scotland - current Series ranking: 12th

USA - current Series ranking: 13th


Scotland have had a funny season. Dire in the opening three tournaments, they looked a different team on arriving in Wellington, and played like one to reach the Cup quarters there and in Las Vegas a week later. Maybe it was victory against Fiji in South Africa that gave them a new confidence. They went on to beat the Fijians again in Wellington and then beat England in Las Vegas. Still only 12th in the Series though after that slow start. The USA reached the Cup quarter finals in South Africa and also most recently on home soil at the USA Sevens, where they lost to Fiji 21-19, but they're 13th in the Series and need more consistency to their game. In Carlin Isles they have one man grabbing a lot of attention, though. Surely the fastest man ever to play international rugby with a personal best over 100 metres of 10.13 seconds.


Pool draw band 3: Canada, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Tonga, Zimbabwe

Canada - current Series ranking: 10th

Portugal - current Series ranking: 14th=

Spain - current Series ranking: 14th=


There's danger right across this band. As core teams on the Series, Canada, Spain and Portugal have all won decent victories this season against teams in bands one and two, the Canadians in particular showing consistent form right across the park and with some of the country's very best players taking them to 10th in the world. Portugal are England's bogey team this season, having beaten them twice, and of the other sides Tonga and Zimbabwe are capable of troubling anyone and have both beaten Scotland on the Series this season, Tonga having had two outings in Australia and New Zealand.

World Cup hosts Russia were disappointed with their only outing on the Series so far, in Dubai, but they will have the home support in Moscow on their side, and they'll know the conditions better than anyone.


Pool draw band 4: Japan, Hong Kong, Georgia, Tunisia, Philippines, Uruguay


Of the six sides in the fourth band to be drawn, only 'los Teros' of Uruguay have competed at the highest level on this season's Series, at the fifth round in Las Vegas. There they lost narrowly to Kenya in pool play and beat Portugal in knock-out play, which goes to underline the competitive edge right across the board in Sevens. Uruguay were the last of the 24 men's teams to qualify, having booked their place in Moscow by finishing second to Argentina at the South American championships in Rio on 24 February. We'll learn much more about them and all of these teams - except the Philippines - in Hong Kong in March, from where the best non-core team performers will go on to London to try and win core team status for next season, and also get all-important game time ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

The Philippines will not compete in Hong Kong, having concentrated all of their efforts this season on qualifying for the World Cup under the coaching eye of former US Eagles Sevens head coach, Al Caravelli.


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Moscow set for RWC Sevens Pool Draw

(IRB.COM) Tuesday 26 February 2013
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Petroff Place in Moscow will host the RWC Sevens Pool Allocation Draw on Thursday
With Rugby continuing to break new frontiers around the world with its phenomenal growth, it is fitting that the Pool Allocation Draw for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow will take place in the presence of some of Russia's top cosmonauts, Olympians and officials.
The draw will take place at the historic Petroff Palace in Moscow on Thursday, and will determine who the 24 men's and 16 women's teams will face during the Pool phase of the showcase event which takes place between June 28-30.
The decision to host the tournament in the Russian capital was part of the International Rugby Board’s development vision and commitment to grow the Game beyond its traditional heartlands. The fact it will be held at the iconic Luzhniki Stadium, a key venue of the 1980 Olympic Games and host of the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final, is a further boost for the tournament.
The three-day tournament will be an incredible experience for sports fans from Russia and around the world as a top-level international Rugby tournament is staged in Moscow for the very first time.
“Anticipation for this tournament is rising day by day and the race to secure the best possible ranking for the draw has been compelling with all teams putting in astonishing performances during the HSBC Sevens World Series and IRB Women’s Sevens World Series,” said Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset.
“The global Rugby community can be very proud of this tournament. It is one of the most exciting and spectacular sporting events in the world and the fact it is coming to one of the most vibrant capital cities on Earth is yet another reason to be excited.”
“We are confident that all the pillars are in place to deliver what will be an exceptional three-day festival of exceptional sport, music, culture, entertainment and hospitality at a world-class venue.”
The draw will take place in front of a specially invited audience of Rugby World Cup officials, players, Russian government representatives, heroes from other sports and respected cosmonauts.
In the men's tournament, 24 teams will be split into six pools of four, while the women's 16 teams will make up four pools of four.
The four bands of six for the men’s event are as follows:
Band 1: New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa, Samoa, England, Australia
Band 2: Wales, Argentina, France, Kenya, Scotland, USA
Band 3: Canada, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Tonga, Zimbabwe
Band 4: Japan, Hong Kong, Georgia, Tunisia, Philippines, Uruguay
The four bands of four for the women’s event are as follows:
Band 1: England, Australia, Canada, USA
Band 2: New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Russia
Band 3: Netherlands, China, France, Brazil
Band 4: Japan, Tunisia, Ireland, Fiji
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RWC Sevens pool draw - Women's form guide


(IRB.COM) Wednesday 27 February 2013


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RWC Sevens hosts Russia (right) have been a surprise package on the Women's Series and are in the second pool draw band

The RWC Sevens 2013 Pool Allocation Draw will take place at Petroff Palace, Moscow, on February 28.


In the women's 16-team competition there will be four pools of four teams drawn, from four bands of four. Those bands are determined by results in the three IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup tournaments held in 2011/12 and the first two rounds of the inaugural IRB Women's Sevens World Series this season.


The four bands of four for the women’s event are as follows:


Band 1: England, Australia, Canada, USA


Contains two teams inside the current top four in the inaugural IRB Women's World Series and two outside.


England - current Series ranking: 3rd


Last season England won two of the three IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup events, in Hong Kong and London, which helped them secure their place in the top draw band. This season, a second string squad struggled to impose itself at round one in Dubai, finishing seventh, but since then the country's finest players have been channelled into the Sevens programme in pursuit of World Cup glory and they won the last round of the IRB Women's Sevens World Series in Houston, twice beating Dubai winners New Zealand.


Australia - current Series ranking: 2nd


Australia are the reigning Rugby World Cup Sevens champions, having won the inaugural women's title in Dubai back in 2009. Since then they have undergone a period of rebuilding under a committed new coach Chris Lane and, while Cup successes have eluded them, they're consistently up there and have twice reached the Cup semi-finals this season. In Dubai they finished fourth and they went one better in Houston without two of their most influential players, captain Rebecca Tavo and flyer Emilee Cherry.


Canada - current Series ranking: 7th


Canada's women had a wonderful 2011/12 season, winning in Dubai, and are already benefiting from the financial support of their National Olympic Committee. They are yet to click this season - losing twice against Russia in Dubai to finish sixth and losing to Netherlands en route to a seventh-place finish in Houston - but they will improve quickly and are a major contender for World Cup success.

USA - - current Series ranking: 6th


A tale of two tournaments this season. At round one in Dubai they finished outside the top eight in pool play and had to make do with the Bowl, but on home soil in Houston they beat Russia and Australia to reach the final, where they lost to a strong England side, 29-12. Benefiting from a new residency programme in partnership with USOC, which should bring swift improvement.

Band 2: New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Russia

Contains the World Series leaders New Zealand and three of the season's surprise packages, including tournament hosts Russia.


New Zealand - current Series ranking: 1st


New Zealand sat out the three Challenge Cup events in the 2011/12 season while they assembled a squad through their Go4Gold campaign, and the subsequent lack of ranking points places them in this second band. However, their careful recruitment under coach Sean Horan already looks to have worked, the likes of netball cross-over athlete Portia Woodman mixing with proven Black Ferns. They are the only side, other than Australia, to have reached both semi-finals this season, winning the Cup in Dubai and finishing fourth in Houston. Finished second to Australia at the last World Cup.


South Africa - current Series ranking: 4th=


South Africa reached the Cup semi-finals four years ago and are another nation to have undergone real change since then under coach, Denver Wannies. Started this season on fire in reaching the Cup final in Dubai and although Houston's eighth-place finish brought something of a reality check, twice losing to Canada, they have a wealth of talent and genuine pace in the back line.


Spain - current Series ranking: 8th=


Of all the sides outside the current group of six 'core teams' competing at all four rounds of the Series (Australia, Canada, England, Netherlands, New Zealand, USA), Spain are arguably the most likely to provide a genuine challenge for World Cup success in Moscow. Constantly improving and with strong NOC backing, the Spaniards beat Australia to third place at the season-opener in Dubai. Did not compete in Houston.


Russia - current Series ranking: 4th=


Like Spain, Russia are a side that every team will want to avoid in the draw. Twice Plate winners already this season, the Russians' mixture of power and pace has brought wins against Canada, Netherlands and South Africa, and a 12-12 draw with New Zealand, under the guidance of former men's coach Pavel Baronovsky.


Band 3: Netherlands, China, France, Brazil


Netherlands booked their place as a core team on the Series with a strong showing last year, notably winning through to the London Cup final, and their full-time contracted squad is steadily improving under coach, Gareth Gilbert, and with the help of the National Olympic Committee. Currently they lie eighth in the Series, losing to Russia in the Houston Plate final, but two narrow losses to England in that tournament speak volumes about their potential. Brazil recently booked their place in the Moscow draw after renewing their perennial title as South American champions, but they have struggled so far in two Series rounds to assert themselves against more physical opposition. Both France and China played at the first round of the Series in Dubai, finishing outside the top eight, but are both capable of strong performances if they get their squad selection and preparation right.


Band 4: Japan, Tunisia, Ireland, Fiji


Of these four teams, only Japan has competed so far on the current World Series, reaching the Bowl final where they lost narrowly to Brazil. Tunisia were a surprise qualifier from Africa, seeing off the likes of Kenya and Uganda, while Ireland came through a tough European section to book their place. Fiji were the best team in Oceania outside New Zealand and Australia and then went on to book their place at the Asian qualifier, where they proved too strong for fellow qualifiers China and Japan.


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RWC Sevens 2013 pool draw takes place(IRB.COM) Thursday 28 February 2013

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The Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens trophy and the Melrose Cup on show during the RWC Sevens draw

A festival of sport, music and fun will hit Moscow from June 28-30 as Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 comes to town. And as the 24 men’s teams and 16 women’s teams prepare to battle it out over those three days, the draw has taken place in the Russian capital, setting the scene for some mouth-watering encounters in the pool stages of the tournament and beyond.

The draw was made on Thursday at Petroff Palace in the heart of the city in the presence of some of Russia’s most celebrated cosmonauts, Olympians and government representatives as well as Rugby’s top officials.

As expected, the pool allocation draw has thrown up some very exciting match-ups. Wales will face a tough battle to retain their men's crown, as they take on southern hemisphere rivals Fiji and Tonga along with Uruguay in Pool E.

Neighbours USA and Canada will clash in Pool D, alongside New Zealand and Georgia. Hosts Russia will face a tough challenge in Pool B as they take on South Africa, Scotland and Japan while Pool C will witness another clash of neighbours as African countries Kenya and Zimbabwe battle it out along with Samoa and the Philippines, who became the first national team from their country to qualify for a World Cup.

Elsewhere in the men's draw, Pool F has pitted England alongside Argentina, Portugal and Hong Kong. Pool A, D and F have three core teams from the HSBC Sevens World Series, while the other three have only two.

The women's draw will see defending champions Australia facing South Africa, China and Ireland. Brazil, who were the last team to qualify for the tournament, have been drawn alongside USA, Spain and Fiji, while hosts Russia will face England, France and Japan.

Pool A will not be easy for any team, with Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands and Tunisia set to battle it out to reach the quarter-finals.

With just four months to go, everything is coming together with local organisers and teams alike busy preparing for what will be a fiesta of speed, power, grace and skill.

Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset, who was in Moscow for the draw, said: "We know from past experience that this is going to be an exciting tournament, full of sporting endeavour, passion, camaraderie and skill. As we continue to look forward to Rugby Sevens' Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016, I am confident that Moscow 2013 will be a resounding success."

"Planning and preparation is on track. Russia has a proud history of staging exceptional major sporting and cultural events and the RUR and the Russian Government will deliver a world-class festival on and off the pitch. It will be a Rugby World Cup Sevens festival like no other."

"The IRB is determined to take Rugby to new frontiers. We want to explore new lands and spread the word of Rugby and Russia is at the very centre of that mission.“This tournament will be accessible, it will be affordable and, most of all, it will be fun. I urge sports fans from Moscow and beyond to come and sample the unique party atmosphere that is associated with Rugby Sevens," said Lapasset.

The decision to host the tournament in the Russian capital was part of the International Rugby Board’s development vision and commitment to grow the Game beyond its traditional heartlands. The fact it will be held at the iconic Luzhniki Stadium is a further boost for the tournament as such high-profile events as the Olympic Games and UEFA Champions League final have already been staged there.

The three-day event will be an incredible experience for sports fans from Russia and around the world as a top-level international Rugby tournament is staged in Moscow for the very first time.

The men’s event is split into six pools of four teams with the top team from each pool, together with the two best runners-up progressing to Cup quarter-finals. The defending champions are Wales.

The six pools for the men’s event are as follows:

Pool A: Australia, France, Spain, Tunisia

Pool B: South Africa, Scotland, Russia, Japan

Pool C: Samoa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Philippines

Pool D: New Zealand, USA, Canada, Georgia

Pool E: Fiji, Wales, Tonga, Uruguay

Pool F: England, Argentina, Portugal, Hong Kong

The women’s event is split into four pools of four teams with the top two teams from each pool progressing to Cup quarter-finals. The defending champions are Australia.

The four bands of four for the women’s event are as follows:

Pool A: Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, Tunisia

Pool B: Australia, South Africa, China, Ireland

Pool C: USA, Spain, Brazil, Fiji

Pool D: England, Russia, France, Japan

http://www.rwcsevens.com/home/news/newsid=2065587.html#rwc+sevens+2013+pool+draw+takes+place

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Lapasset: "Russia will deliver"

(IRB.COM) Thursday 28 February 2013
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Bernard Lapasset believes planning and preparation is on track for RWC Sevens 2013 in Moscow
Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset believes that Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow will "deliver an event like no other", inspiring Rugby's growth in Russia and taking one of the world's must-see sporting events to another level.
Speaking at a star-studded RWC Sevens 2013 Pool Allocation Draw in the capital city, where the 24 men's and 16 women's teams representing 28 nations learned their opposition for the pool phase, the Frenchman said that event preparations are on track for what promises to be a spectacular three-day celebration of sport, culture and entertainment.
"I am confident that Russia 2013 will be a resounding success. It will be an event that will bring people together from across this great sporting country and around the world to have fun, enjoy world-class Rugby, and experience the very best of Russian hospitality."
"Russia is a great Olympic nation. The Russian people love Olympic sports, and as we continue to look forward to Rugby Sevens' Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016, this event represents a great opportunity to showcase our sport in growing Rugby markets and inspire interest and engagement in Russia and around the world."
"Planning and preparation is on track and Russia has a proud history of staging exceptional major sporting and cultural events. The Rugby Union of Russia and the Russian Government in partnership with the IRB will deliver a world class festival on and off the pitch. It will be a Rugby World Cup Sevens festival like no other."
The event itself was a symbol of how far Rugby World Cup Sevens has come since its inception in 1993. Legendary cosmonauts, Olympians and Rugby greats joined forces to draw the teams at the event, which was attended by a large number of media and broadcast live via Russia 2.
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RWC7s women's pool draw - Team reaction

(IRB.COM) Friday 1 March 2013


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Australia captain Rebecca Tavo wants the title of 2013 world champions


Reaction from across the teams to the pool draw for the women's competition at the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow.


Pool A: Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, Tunisia


New Zealand coach, Sean Horan: “We’re pretty happy with our pool. You can never discount any team in an international competition as we expect everyone to be bringing their best to Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013. We want to be competitive against all teams in our pool, in particular Netherlands and Canada, and we’re really excited about competing in Moscow later this year.”


Pool B: Australia, South Africa, China, Ireland


Australia captain, Rebecca Tavo: “We’ve had that label as defending champions for four years, but it would be great to have the label as the 2013 World champions. The 2009 tournament was very intense, I’d never been to anything like it before. It was a rollercoaster but we dealt with it and at the end we were world champions.”


Australia coach, Chris Lane: “We’ve been building toward this for the last 18 months. We’re the defending world champions, it’s important to us to win the World Cup again this year. We’re just focussed on our preparation, we want to play at a world champion standard. The title of being defending champions won’t put pressure on us though, four years is a long time and we’re a new team.”


South Africa's Natasha Hofmeester, a member of the SA team that narrowly lost against Australia four years ago in Dubai, and former SARU Women’s Player of the Year: “Our match in 2009, and our recent clash in the World Series in Houston against Australia, were two close-fought affairs, so we are bracing ourselves for another exciting match. Compared to four years ago, when we were just starting out, we are now a much more settled team with more matches and more experience in our favour. We continue to grow as a team and the fact that we are now part of the Women’s World Series and playing in a second RWC are really exciting times for Women’s Rugby in South Africa."


Pool C: USA, Spain, Brazil, Fiji


Spain coach, Boris Gutiérrez: "We knew that we were going to have a tough pool. It could have been Canada, England or Australia, we drew USA. We'll have to be careful with Fiji, a country with a lot of tradition and culture in Sevens. It's a World Cup so it's hugely important for everyone."


Pool D: England, Russia, France, Japan


England coach Barry Maddocks: “This is a tough pool as we face some strong European opposition in Russia and France, whilst Japan are a quick and talented footballing side, but certainly I think Pool A will be an interesting pool to watch. The bar is being raised at every tournament we go to now and games are only won by the smallest margins. Our priority will be to get through the pool stages as efficiently as we can.”


Russia coach, Pavel Baronowsky: "We will compete against the best team in the world at the moment, England. They are our main competitors in the European and world championship, so it will be tough for sure. We are ready to become World Champions, there is no point in just turning up. We want to play our part in the World Cup and hopefully keep the trophy here in Moscow. I think there will be great support for us here and Russia and hopefully that support will spur us on even more, however there will be the additional pressure to perform in front of our home fans."


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RWC7s men's pool draw: Team reaction

(IRB.COM) Friday 1 March 2013


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Gordon Tietjens has won 10 World Series titles and four Commonwealth golds with New Zealand but only one RWC Sevens, in 2001


Reaction from across the teams to the pool draw for the 24-team men's competition at the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow.


Group A: Australia, France, Spain and Tunisia


Australia coach, Michael O'Connor: “I’m excited for the tournament. Everything is on the line during a World Cup. Anything can happen in Sevens so we’ve just got to prepare ourselves and get better. We’ve got to worry more about our own game at the moment.”


Australia captain, Ed Jenkins: “There’s been a massive improvement in teams since the last World Cup. No team has an easy pool in Sevens, any team can beat you on any given day. You’ve always got to play at your best in Sevens. To win the World Cup, you’ve got to play your best and beat every side you’re up against, so the draw doesn’t change your preparation.”


France coach, Frederic Pomarel: "It's a pool where we're going to have to go out and play the matches, and win them! I've said it and I'll say it again, nothing is easy because there are no small nations in Sevens. Everyone needs to be respected, but if we play to our values and potential we can do well."


France's Manoel Dall Igna: "There's no reason for us not to be satisfied with our pool draw, all three of the teams we face are, currently, at the bottom end of the band they were drawn from. Australia are the lowest-ranked of the sides in the top band, Spain the lowest in the third band and Tunisia one of the teams in the bottom band who haven't played much on the Series lately. We'll still have to go out there and play the games and the form won't necessarily hold true, but for the moment we can be pleased with our draw.


Spain coach, José Ignacio 'Tiki' Inchausti: "After seeing the draw, the World Cup is very open. There's no clear favourite and anything could happen. We know Australia from the World Series and have beaten them. We've faced France in the FIRA tournaments for years but still haven't played them on the Series this season. It looks a good group, although we know that qualifying from it will not be easy."


Group B: South Africa, Scotland, Russia and Japan


South Africa coach Paul Treu: “It is never easy to play the hosts and Russia will be very tough to beat in front of their home fans. We’ve seen them cause many upsets the past few seasons and they must rank as one of the strongest non-core World Series teams. There is so much to play for in Sevens rugby nowadays. The HSBC Sevens World Series is now much more competitive, teams are playing to secure core status while everyone is gearing up for the Olympics in 2016. The Rugby World Cup Sevens is a one-off tournament, it happens only once every four years and the fact that it will now be played at the end of the season means all the teams will be very strong. For us though, a huge motivating factor will be the fact that we’ve never done well at previous RWC tournaments. Our approach will be very different this time around. SARU and our management team have done a lot of planning for this tournament and our aim is to win."


Scotland captain, Colin Gregor, top point-scorer at the last Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai: “This is a good group, Russia and Japan are not core teams but are two teams who by the end of this season will hope to be on the circuit full-time. Russia are paying a lot of attention to the game of Sevens with the Olympics in Rio, so they will be a very tough and physical team, South Africa will also be very physical. However, if we play with confidence against these teams we can challenge them and cause them problems. Our aim at the moment is to keep claiming ranking points in the HSBC Sevens World Series and secure our place there next year, but a World Cup is always a special experience and we’re hoping we can come away with something.”


Group C: Samoa, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Philippines


Kenya coach, Mike Friday: "It is an interesting draw and it is a tough group but there are far harder groups with more core teams in other individual groups. People need to realize that you only gain automatic to the quarter-finals if you win the group so, in that regard, with Samoa in the group, it is very tough. They have been outstanding this season and very consistent. They fully warrant their current world standing of three, having also won a title this season. We are looking forward to the challenge and will need to be ruthless in every game where points scored become very important to be one of the best runners-up, should we not win the group. We are more than capable of winning this group but it will require us to play to the best of our ability in every game and as a Kenya Sevens family. We will need to show the spirit and togetherness that we cannot be distracted or split in preparation of that challenge."


Philippines coach, Al Caravelli: "We're not going to make up the numbers, anything can happen in a Sevens tournament. I use the example of Wales, who lost a pool game four years ago, went into the Cup quarters ranked eighth and won it. You've just got to play to your fundamentals and hopefully we'll prepare them to the best of my ability as a coach. We plan to assemble in June, prepare for an entire month, get some good rounds in with Australia and then head to a pre-tournament in Thailand before we leave for Russia."


Group D: New Zealand, USA, Canada and Georgia


New Zealand coach, Gordon Tietjens: “Sevens is getting more competitive each year so we take nothing for granted. We have seen the United States and Canada do pretty well at times in the IRB HSBC Sevens World Series so we know what they are capable of. Unlike the World Series, you only get one chance every four years to win the World Cup so it will be a high pressure event with no room for poor performance. We haven’t won the World Cup since 2001 so we are really determined to do well. The tournament is also important for us in terms of building for the Rio Olympics in 2016 so there will be no shortage of incentives to play well. We’re also really looking forward to Moscow where the team has never played.”


Group E: Fiji, *Wales, Tonga and Uruguay


Wales captain, Rhys Shellard: "The draw could have been a lot worse for us and all the pools look quite even, so I’m quite happy with our draw. We’ve beaten Fiji twice this year in the World Series and played well against them both times, so that should give us some confidence but Tonga will be no mugs either. They were three tries up against us in the New Zealand tournament before we came away with a win, while Uruguay are a top side as well. It is nice to go to this year’s tournament as defending champions but we now obviously have a different squad to the one that did so well last time in Dubai. We’ve only got two boys (Lee Williams and Richie Pugh) left from that squad but the boys just relishing the opportunity ahead. But before the World Cup, we’ve still got four tournaments in the World Series and that is our bread and butter. There is relegation and promotion involved and we must ensure we get as many points as we can to hit our targets.”


Group F: England, Argentina, Portugal and Hong Kong


England coach Ben Ryan: “The draw looks pretty balanced for all the pools and it is exciting to know who our opponents are going to be now. We know all our Pool opponents well and it will certainly add a little spice when we play Portugal at the Hong Sevens next month.”


Hong Kong coach, Dai Rees: "We always knew we would face two top core teams in our pool and England and Argentina fall into that category. Our target is to finish as the top Asian team at the World Cup and thus help qualify our under-18 team for next year's Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. England has had an indifferent campaign in the World Series this season but this being a one-off tournament, I'm sure they will be focused. It is the same with Argentina."


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RWC Sevens 2013 attracts world-class sponsors

(IRB.COM) Thursday 14 March 2013


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From 28-30 June, 24 men's teams and 16 women's teams will compete in Moscow for the chance to be crowned world champions in Sevens


The Rugby Union of Russia (RUR) is delighted to announce the addition of three major partners to the commercial programme for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow.


Bank Zenit, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) and Canterbury of New Zealand have come on board for the event, which is on track to deliver a unique fan experience in a sports-mad city, while providing a boost to the profile and development of Rugby in one of the world’s major markets.


Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 will bring together the finest men’s and women’s Sevens players in the world for a three-day festival of world-class sport, entertainment and hospitality on June 28-30.


RUR President Vyacheslav Kopiev said: “We are hugely excited to have these three major brands on board. Not only are they going to be a part of something truly special in Moscow, but their involvement reaffirms Russia’s ambition to become a major player in global Rugby both as a host country and on the field of play.”


“These key partnerships with top brands delivers high visibility to a mass global audience and are tailored to suit each brand’s unique key marketing and business objectives, both in stadia, where more than 115,000 fans are anticipated to attend across the tournament, and through a global television audience reach of close to one billion.”


“We are currently engaged in discussions with other potential sponsors who are also interested in becoming involved in this tournament.”


Rugby World Cup Sevens has played a major role in the growth of Sevens worldwide its ongoing success and was a major factor behind the IOC’s decision to include Rugby Sevens on the Olympic Games programme for 2016 and 2020. Moscow 2013 is on track to be an outstanding major event.


Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset added: “The announcement of these three major brands as partners of Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 is a further boost to an event that is set to reach out to more people in more countries than ever before, while reaffirming the incredible growth of Sevens worldwide, especially in emerging markets such as Russia.”


Mike Vandrau, Head of Sales at Essentially, added: “With a global event like this, it is always important to get the right mix of local and global brands on board and we are excited to be working with these great companies. This announcement goes some way to highlight the high level of interest we have had in Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow. We have a number of conversations currently live with potential partners and with less than four months to kick-off, we look forward to announcing some more global partnerships shortly.”


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Match schedule announced with 100 days to go

(IRB.COM) Wednesday 20 March 2013
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Moscow's iconic Luzhniki Stadium will be the perfect venue to showcase the world's best Sevens talent
With exactly 100 days to go until Rugby World Cup Sevens kicks off at the iconic Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, the match schedule has been announced, revealing some mouth-watering encounters for the thousands of spectators in the ground and millions more around the world to enjoy.
The teams have entered the closing stages as regards their preparations for the tournament with Wales’ men and Australia’s women gearing up to defend the titles they won in Dubai four years ago.
Part of that preparation is the HSBC Sevens World Series and the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series which are currently ongoing. The men are in Hong Kong this weekend for one of the highlights of the season while the women are looking forward to the China round of the women’s series, which takes place from March 30-31 in Guangzhou.
The schedule has offered up some potentially epic match-ups on all three days of the tournament. One of the men’s tournament favourites, Samoa, will kick things off on day one as they take on the always competitive Zimbabwe. Other highlights of the opening day’s entertainment will be the all-Pacific clash between Fiji and Tonga, England v Portugal, who have had some tough battles already this season, and then South Africa will take on the might of the home team, Russia, in front of a passionate Moscow crowd.
The intensity builds on day two as teams eye positions in the knock-out stages. Among the thrilling games in store, Samoa play Kenya, Fiji take on defending champions Wales, Australia face France and New Zealand are up against both USA and Canada. In the women’s event, champions Australia must play South Africa, while Canada take on New Zealand and England conclude the day by facing Russia.
Three days of world-class Sevens action
The tournament will come to a pulsating finish on day three with the knockout stages ensuring that every match is absolutely crucial.
And as the excitement mounts among the teams, the buzz is also building among the ever-growing number of Rugby Sevens fans around the world as tickets are now on sale for the biggest Sevens event of the year in what is a new frontier for the world Game.
For the men's fixtures, click here.
For the women's fixtures, click here.
Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "The teams know that these 100 days will fly by very quickly and so they are all busy making their final preparations for the tournament. Judging by the schedule, we are in for a treat of world-class Rugby Sevens on each of the three days of competition.”
“The way the Game is continuing to develop, I expect this Rugby World Cup Sevens to be the highest quality yet with skill, speed and fitness levels like never before, in both the men’s and women’s sections.”
Russia men’s team coach Aleksandr Alexeenko said: "I would like to take this opportunity to invite all Rugby Sevens fans to Moscow to experience Russian hospitality. In June, you will see it for yourself because it’s going to be a great event.”
“Today marks 100 days to go until the beginning of this year's RWC Sevens and it will be a big milestone for our team, me as a coach and my players. We are a little nervous as the responsibility is a little greater than normal but at the same time we are focused on what we need to do to show great results.”
One of the biggest sporting events in Russia
“The RWC Sevens will be held for the first time in Russia, at the Luzhniki Stadium, one of the best sport's facilities in Russia. We hope to see a lot of fans from all over the world in Moscow. For Russia itself it will be one of the biggest and most important events in the entire year."
The decision to host the tournament in the Russian capital was part of the International Rugby Board’s development vision and commitment to grow the Game beyond its traditional heartlands. The fact it will be held at the iconic Luzhniki Stadium is a further boost for the tournament as such high-profile events as the Olympic Games and UEFA Champions League final have already been staged there.
The three-day event will be an incredible experience for sports fans from Russia and around the world as a top-level international Rugby tournament is staged in Moscow for the very first time.
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... <_< I can just see Vlad Putin sitting there in the official box scowling everyone at the opening...They'll need to send the event to South America after this.

I'm just not that enthusiastic about Russia hosting these large sporting events at the moment.

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... <_< I can just see Vlad Putin sitting there in the official box scowling everyone at the opening...They'll need to send the event to South America after this.

I'm just not that enthusiastic about Russia hosting these large sporting events at the moment.

This is the last rugby sevens world cup ever.

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This is the last rugby sevens world cup ever.

Agreed, the IRB will have to bite the bullet on this one...Olympic prestege is simply too high, the regular circut maintaining quality teams.

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