Nelson Mandela Bay South Africa Sevens confirmed for 7 and 8 December

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 following the International Rugby Board’s (IRB)  announcement today of the confirmed dates for the upcoming 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series. In another exciting development, the IRB also announced the further expansion of the World Series, with Argentina joining the very 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.

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).

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

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)



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