All set for PE's sevens party
Blitzbokke skipper Kyle Brown (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Thursday marks the start of the 50-day countdown until kick-off for the much-awaited Nelson Mandela Bay South Africa Sevens tournament in the iconic Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
South Africa’s own Blitzbokke will battle it out with 15 other international sevens teams for the much coveted tournament title on 8 - 9 December. The tournament is round three of the Sevens World Series which consists of nine tournaments in total - spanning from October to June and touching down on each continent.
Some of the hottest local bands have been lined-up to entertain the crowd at the Saturday Concert as “Rugby’s Biggest Party” just got a whole lot hotter this year. The Graeme Watkins Projects and Goodluck are the two major brand attractions, while the hugely popular DJ Ready D will return to entertain the crowds with his skills. Entrance to this event is free for anyone who has bought a match-day ticket on Saturday.
An exciting addition to the already top-class entertainment programme is the PE Tens, which is organised by former Springboks Bob Skinstad
and Robbie Fleck. Skinstad is a former Springbok Sevens star, skippered the Springboks at Test level and is nowadays a respected SuperSport broadcaster. Fleck is currently an assistant coach of the Stormers and Western Province.
SARU CEO, Jurie Roux
, described the SA Sevens tournament as one of the highlights of the local rugby calendar.
“It is unbelievable that we are only 50 days away from the second Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens tournament in Port Elizabeth.
Our local organising committee, comprising of SARU the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism and Metro as well as EP Rugby staff are working around the clock to deliver another world-class tournament.
“This year we have moved the tournament to a weekend format and managed to keep ticket prices unchanged, so we hope that these two factors will help us to draw capacity crowds on both days. Our aim is to attract 80 000 fans to the NMB SA Sevens and to establish this tournament as one of the top events on the World Series calendar.
“Our marketing team has secured some top-class performers for our Saturday concert and fans will be able to meet the Springbok Sevens and members of the other participating teams during open training and signing sessions. I would therefore like to urge fans to book their tickets early to avoid disappointment,” explained Roux.
NMB SA Sevens Tournament Ambassador, Bob Skinstad
, admits he cannot wait for the arrival of Rugby’s Biggest Party, which promises to be even bigger this year. “Port Elizabeth is known as the Friendly City and I know that the Metro, stadium management and PE fans are all geared up to make this tournament another memorable experience.
“International Sevens rugby always delivers top-class viewing and entertainment and I know that supporters will be in another amazing experience on 8 - 9 December. This will also be the first time that we will host the PE Tens, which is a really exciting concept. The Tens tournaments in Cape Town and Johannesburg are hugely popular attractions and adding that to the high-octane sevens action means that Eastern Cape fans are in for a fantastic treat at the NMB SA Sevens in December,” said Skinstad.
The Blitzbokke finished third at the Gold Coast after losing their only match of the weekend to eventual winners, Fiji, in the semi-finals.
Round two of the World Series takes place on 30 November - 1 December in Dubai. From there the Blitzbokke head home to play in the Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens, where 80 000 spectators are expected to turn up to witness a thrilling dose of sizzling sevens action.