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London Sevens to host IRB sanctioned Women’s International Sevens tournament

29 February 2012

  • RFU host one of three IRB Women’s Sevens tournaments
  • Twickenham joins Dubai & Hong Kong on Sevens calendar
Michaela Staniford in action for the England Womens Sevens team

Photo: Getty Images

The Rugby Football Union will host one of three IRB sanctioned Women’s International Sevens tournament this season at Twickenham Stadium on May 12-13, 2012.

As part of the hugely popular London Sevens weekend Twickenham Stadium will now also open its doors to some of the world’s finest female rugby talent as the HSBC Sevens World Series comes to a close.

As part of the IRB’s on-going commitment to develop international women’s Sevens ahead of the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Russia and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, London and Hong Kong are the latest events to be added to the IRB international sevens programme. Dubai hosted the inaugural Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup in December and Hong Kong will host the second event on March 23-24th.

12 of the best international women’s sevens team will compete over the two-day tournament for the Women’s Challenge Cup, including hosts England, who recently reached the final of the Women’s Challenge Cup in Dubai beating world champions Australia on their way to the final. The teams competing in London will be: England, Australia, Canada, USA, Netherlands, Russia, Brazil, China, Kazakhstan, France, South Africa and Portugal.

Rob Andrew, RFU Professional Rugby Director, said: “The RFU is delighted to be hosting the IRB sanctioned international Women’s Sevens tournament as part of the London Sevens this year. Dubai held the first ever IRB Women’s Sevens event in December 2011 so for Twickenham Stadium to be added to that calendar is a prestigious honour.

“With Rugby Sevens making its debut in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games it is important we, and our other member unions, strive forward to develop the international programme for our women’s teams and this announcement represents a significant step on the road to Rio de Janeiro for these international teams.”

Sevens fans to get their groove on

Last year's Beach themed event at the London Sevens saw more than 100,000 fans head to Twickenham Stadium and the 2012 event promises to be even bigger. The party atmosphere generated by the fans is almost unrivalled in the Twickenham calendar and this year’s event takes up a 1970s theme.

Sophie Goldschmidt, RFU Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are looking forward to an exceptional international Women’s tournament in London in May which will run alongside the HSBC Sevens World Series. Last year's event saw more than 100,000 fans head through the gates over the two days including a record breaking 54,612 crowd on the Saturday. The 2012 event promises to be even bigger and better especially with the London leg being the final event of the HSBC Sevens World Series.”

"These are exciting times for Women's Rugby around the world," added IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset. "Participation is growing while we continue to work with our member unions to ensure elite Women's competition goes from strength to strength ahead of our debut in the Olympic Games 2016.

These invitational IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup events are the first step on the road to delivering an annual IRB Women’s Sevens World Series along similar lines to the hugely successful men’s HSBC Sevens World Series. I am sure that London will be a resounding success and give fans in the stadium and around the world another opportunity to see just how competitive Women's Rugby is."

Tickets are now available for the London Sevens weekend on May 12 and 13, 2012 and for the month of March Weekend Tickets are available from just £20. After that, weekend passes start from £30, single day tickets from £18 and kids tickets at £5 each day. Visit www.rfu.com/tickets or call 0844 847 2492. (Tickets are subject to availability and booking fees apply).