News24

SA Sevens leg stays in PE

2012-06-26 15:04

Cape Town - South African rugby fans will see the best sevens rugby stars in action on 7 and 8 December in the iconic Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth after the International Rugby Board’s (IRB) on Tuesday confirmed dates for the upcoming 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series.

In another exciting development, the IRB also announced the further expansion of the Sevens World Series, with Argentina joining the popular series as a 10th venue.

Following its inaugural success at the new Eastern Cape-based venue last season, the Nelson Mandela Bay South Africa Sevens will again host rugby’s biggest party, with two days of fast-paced action, top-class match-day entertainment and a music concert on the Friday night featuring some of South Africa’s most popular bands.

The decision to include Argentina in the World Series was approved by the IRB Executive Committee and reflects the strong global demand to host one of the hottest properties in sport - a round of the record-breaking, crowd-pleasing series - as Rugby Sevens counts down to its Olympic Games debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

La Plata will play host to the finest Sevens players on the planet for the second round of the upcoming Series on 20-21 October 2012, one week after the Gold Coast Sevens kicks off the new season in Australia. A stellar 2012/13 Sevens season will be further enhanced by Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow on June 28-30, while the inaugural IRB Women's Sevens Series will also kick off.

Argentina’s addition to the list of global hot spots signals the return of the series to South America for the first time since 2002. It also means that every continent now hosts at least one round of the Sevens World Series with tournaments in Africa (1), Asia (3), Europe (2), Oceania (2), North America (1) and South America (1).

The announcement comes at an exciting time for the series and for Argentina with the South Americans set to make their Rugby Championship debut next month alongside Australia, South Africa and Rugby World Cup 2011 champions New Zealand.

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “I am delighted that Argentina is joining the impressive list of spectacular global destinations that comprise the record-breaking Sevens World Series.

“These are exciting times for South America, where participation has grown by 25 per cent in the last four years owing to the prestige and profile of Rugby World Cup, the IRB and CONSUR's investment and development strategies and Olympic Games inclusion.

“Argentina continues to be the beating heart of the South American success story and we very much look forward to working in partnership with the Argentine Rugby Union and the Argentina government to deliver an event that will capture hearts and minds, benefit Rugby throughout the Region and mark another significant milestone as we countdown to Sevens' Olympic Games debut in Rio in 2016.”

The IRB is committed to the development of rugby across the Americas and is investing US$13.94m in Argentina and South America between 2009 and 2012 in development, high performance and tournament programmes. The awarding of this tournament is a key step in the process.

New Argentine Union board member and IRB Council member Agustin Pichot said: “These are extremely exciting times for Argentina, which is a hugely passionate rugby country. Los Pumas are due to compete shoulder-to-shoulder against the three finest teams in the world and now our rugby family can also look forward to welcoming the wonderful Sevens World Series to La Plata.

“A decade has passed since the World Series last visited South America and I am sure the players and fans are all looking forward to a massive carnival of rugby, just four years out from Rio 2016. We look forward to welcoming everyone here for what I am sure will be a memorable experience.”

Argentina's inclusion also signals the second expansion of the World Series since HSBC was appointed title sponsor, following Rugby Sevens' Olympic Games inclusion.

Giles Morgan, Group Head of Sponsorship and Events, HSBC Holdings explained that since HBSC's involvement in the Sevens World Series, attendance has grown by almost 100 000 fans to 547 500 for the 2011/12 season, and broadcast coverage has reached record levels around the world. 

Sevens World Series 2012/13 schedule:

Round 1: October 13/14, 2012 - Australia (Gold Coast)
Round 2: October 20/21, 2012 - Argentina (La Plata)
Round 3: November 30 – December 1, 2012 - Dubai
Round 4: December 7/8, 2012 - South Africa (Port Elizabeth)
Round 5: February 1/2, 2013 - New Zealand (Wellington)
Round 6: February 8-10, 2013 - USA (Las Vegas)
Round 7: March 22-24, 2013 - Hong Kong
Round 8: March 30/31, 2013 - Japan (Tokyo)
Round 9: May 4/5, 2013 - Scotland (Glasgow)
Round 10: May 11/12, 2013 - England (London)

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013: June 28-30, 2013 – Moscow (Russia)

Sport24

Comments
  • charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-06-26 15:48

    Excellent, bring on the Super Kings !!! PE is rich in rugby history and traditions and the region is a constant feeder to the 'bigger' unions of South Africa. It's time for the EP Super Kings to RISE !!!

  • pieter.thefuture - 2012-06-26 15:58

    Was there any talk of moving it? I would say move it to cape town, as the jwc has proven, it would be more of a financial success, the stadium will be sold out. It will be a success in PE for only a year or so until interest dies down. Say what you want, but the powerhouse EPRU is a joke. I know alot of talent from there go to the bigger unions, but so do the cheetahs and griekwas players, and they are compeditive in the currie cup premier division. PE is not as rugby mad as Cape Town or Pretoria, both those unions will garentee sellout crowds, but I prefer cape town as it will save me the cost of a plane ticket and accomodation

      sean.bagley.50 - 2012-06-26 16:24

      "PE is not as rugby mad as Cape Town or Pretoria, both those unions will garentee sellout crowds" From espnscrum.com comes this:"Selecting PE is also a confirmation that rugby would no longer be the domain of only a select few, but would be opened up to the masses as it went from the retirement village to a city with a massive rugby-loving population...To move the South African leg of the IRB Sevens World Series from its traditional home in George, was an indication that there was a serious move to include Port Elizabeth and the Southern Kings franchise in the national rugby dialogue." So cut PE some slack for crying out loud.

      pieter.thefuture - 2012-06-26 16:51

      ok, I'll give PE a chance. I'll am willing to say I was wrong if proved to be, but at this stage I still stick with my opinion. Lets talk again in 3 years time. just to let you know, I would be happy to be wrong on this.

      pieter.thefuture - 2012-06-26 16:59

      @sean Just beause some PR guy says something does not make it true, even if it is espnscrum.com that is doing the PR work.

      ruan.vanniekerk.754 - 2012-06-27 07:51

      Pe will, just like any other stadium, sell out if the team wins. I stay in pe an support the stormers. Remember how empty newlands was a few years ago when the team did bad? See how empty ellis park is, yet last year it fulled up again in the currie cup. Newlands was hardly full in the jwc until the final only. You people must stop being so selfish. All the years you got the big games en we had to jump in planes and cars. Long over due that we smaller places get some games. We also have big stadiums now and pay a lot to full that stadium. Cheapest for eng game was 350. Yet there are little empty seats, if any. So give the others a chance, you had plenty of years to prove yourself

      pieter.thefuture - 2012-06-27 10:10

      Newlands empty? when was this - o, you mean when there were only 25 000 people going to a game instead of the normal 35000+, go check your stats - newlands, where the stormers have never won a super tournament has the best attendance of ALL the super franchises. And a badly attended stormers game at newlands have more spectators at the game than 90% of games hosted at PE. Prove me wrong.

  • mabotjak - 2012-06-26 16:09

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  • duncan.biyela - 2012-06-27 08:43

    Bring it to Durbz. Moses Mabida Stadium would be a great venue! It was good enough for Top Gear! Getting tired of Cheeky and his P-Tjoms getting all the rugby hype!

  • andre.v.rensburg.3 - 2012-06-27 08:46

    I was there last year and had an absolute jol / PE knew how to turn it on / flights already booked for Dec

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