In an exciting development, the IRB today also announced the further expansion of the World Series, with Argentina joining the very popular Series as a 10th venue.
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 HSBC 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 The Castle Rugby Championship debut next month alongside Australia, South Africa and Rugby World Cup 2011 champions New Zealand.
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 HSBC 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.
HSBC Sevens World Series 2012/13
Round 1 13-14 Oct 2012 Australia (Gold Coast)
Round 2 20-21 Oct 2012 Argentina (La Plata)
Round 3 30 Nov – 1 Dec 2012 Dubai
Round 4 7-8 Dec 2012 South Africa (Port Elizabeth)
Round 5 1-2 Feb 2013 New Zealand (Wellington)
Round 6 8-10 Feb 2013 USA (Las Vegas)
Round 7 22-24 Mar 2013 Hong Kong
Round 8 30-31 Mar 2013 Japan (Tokyo)
Round 9 4-5 May 2013 Scotland (Glasgow)
Round 10 11-12 May 2013 England (London)
Add to the above 10 rounds the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013, 28-30 June 2013 (Moscow, Russia) and you have the makings of one huge, exciting Sevens year!
See you around the Sevens.
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