Rugby World Cup Sevens

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Rugby World Cup Sevens
Russia signal interest in hosting RWC Sevens
February 13, 2009
Bernard Lapasset, head of the French rugby union federation, holds a press conference prior to the rugby union World Cup third place final match France vs. Argentina at the Parc des Princes in Paris on October 19,  2007
IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset has welcomed Russia's interest in hosting the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens © Getty Images

Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) has confirmed that the Rugby Union of Russia has expressed an interest to tender for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013.

The confirmation follows a review of strategic operations by the Union and the decision to focus efforts on exciting development programmes for Rugby Sevens in an extensive drive geared towards reaching out to new markets within Russia.

A key element of the strategy is the hosting of Rugby Sevens' showpiece tournament and the Union has confirmed that it has the full support from the Russian Government in its quest to host a major international Rugby event for the first time.

"Rugby World Cup Limited is delighted that the Rugby Union of Russia has expressed an interest to host Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013. The tournament is firmly established as a major event on the world sporting calendar, attracting sell-out crowds and a global television audience of over half a billion," said RWCL Chairman Bernard Lapasset.

"Rugby Sevens is a major driving force behind the continued growth of the men's and women's Game around the world, particularly in new markets and we are excited that the Rugby Union of Russia views the hosting of the tournament and a focus on Sevens development will provide a major stimulus for growth within Russia."

In order to concentrate all its resources on the bid, the Union has also confirmed that it will not continue with its tender for Rugby World Cup 2019. The Union had been one of eight Unions bidding to host the tournament, but following the strategic review the Union has committed to bidding for single-city events, including Rugby World Cup Sevens.

"After analysing all the aspects involved in the organisation of Rugby World Cup 2019, the Rugby Union of Russia has decided to withdraw its intention to tender," said Rugby Union of Russia President Viatcheslav Kopiev.

"We had the full backing of the Russian Government who were committed to guaranteeing the £96 million minimum tournament fee for 2019, but the Union believes that the best focus of our resources for growing the Game within Russia is the identification of single-city tournaments and the role of Sevens in attracting new men, women and children to Rugby."

"Tendering for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 is a natural step after our bid for the 2009 tournament and we are also delighted to have received backing from the highest levels of Government," added Kopiev.

Russia's withdrawal leaves a record eight Unions tendering to host either Rugby World Cup 2015 or 2019. Australia, England, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Scotland, South Africa and Wales have confirmed their intention to tender for Rugby World Cup 2015, while Australia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Scotland, South Africa and Wales formally confirmed their commitment to host the 2019 tournament.

"Rugby World Cup Limited has now met with a number of the tender Unions for Rugby World Cup 2015 and 2019 and we have been encouraged by the very positive nature of discussions and the level of support being shown by the respective governments," added Lapasset.

The eight Unions now have until May 8 to submit their detailed tender responses to RWCL. The responses will then be reviewed by RWCL and the tender Unions will be invited to make a presentation to the IRB Council on May 13.

The Host Unions for Rugby World Cup 2015 and Rugby World Cup 2019 will be selected at a special meeting of the IRB Council on July 28, 2009.

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