Rugby to rock Commonwealth Games

    Posted at 5th July 2010 / 09:22

    It is official, the closest thing to the Olympics in terms of it being a ginormous multi-sport event - the Commonwealth in New Delhi Oct 3-14 have announced their rugby lineup. Sixteen countries will participate in the Rugby Sevens tournament.

    Samoa, who secured their first International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens World Series crown last week, reigning Commonwealth Games Rugby Sevens champions New Zealand, hosts India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, England, Scotland, Wales, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Tonga , Canada and Guyana will participate in the tournament from Oct 11-12.

    "We firmly believe that the Sevens tournament at the Commonwealth Games plays an important role in the ongoing development and promotion of rugby around the world, attracting some of the world’s top players, delivering exciting matches and attracting new fans thanks to the remarkable talent of all the international teams competing," said IRB president Bernard Lapasset.

    "The Sevens tournament at the Commonwealth Games has always proven successful, achieving sell-out crowds, and this year we are particularly excited that the competition is being held in India where rugby is reaching out to new young audiences in a rapidly developing market for our sport. We are looking forward to what promises to be an exciting tournament."

    Rugby Sevens was introduced to the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur 1998.

    Even seasoned Sevens Series teams such as 2009 champions the South African Springboks know that the "Games" are a special challenge. SA coach Paul Treu said "It requires a lot more focus than the rugby only tournaments, so in an effort to ensure we have the best chance of success some of our management team have traveled to India already as a scouting party."

    The pools and tournament schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.

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