With one year to go until Rugby World Cup Sevens kicks off in Moscow, tournament organizers are anticipating an exceptional sporting and cultural event that will showcase Rugby Sevens at its exciting best in a country where the sport is capturing hearts and minds.
The quadrennial event, hosted at the iconic Luzhniki Olympic Complex on June 28-30 and featuring the top 24 men's and top 16 women's teams, will deliver a world class festival of Rugby on the field and entertainment for all the family throughout the adjoining Olympic Park complex.
Anticipation is growing throughout the global Rugby family that Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 will build upon the success of the 2009 edition in Dubai, an event that proved instrumental in Sevens' campaign for Olympic Games inclusion as well as providing a global boost for the Women's Game.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "With a year to go until Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 kicks off in Moscow, I am confident that the event will be an outstanding success on and off the field, showcasing men's and women's Rugby Sevens to new audiences around the world.
"Planning and preparation is progressing well and the Rugby Union of Russia, the City of Moscow and the Russian Government working in partnership with Rugby World Cup Limited, are focused on delivering a world class event for players and fans. I am sure that the reward for their dedication will be a superb and memorable event that will write another strong chapter in the Rugby World Cup Sevens success story.
"I am sure that all attending the event will see world class Rugby, highly competitive men's and women's matches and above all, have a great time. Our message for the people of Russia is come and enjoy the latest Olympic Sport. We look forward to welcoming you all to the Rugby family."
Preparations are gathering momentum for the final Rugby World Cup Sevens event before the exciting sport makes its Olympic Games bow at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016. The global qualification process kicks off in earnest this weekend with the European Women's competition appropriately at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Russia is ready to welcome the world and with hopes high that the men's and women's national teams will continue their upward trend, excitement is building within the Russian Rugby community.
Vyacheslav Kopiev, President, Rugby Union of Russia, said: "We are delighted to be hosting this first decisive regional qualifying event for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in the fantastic Luzhniki Stadium complex.
"Our goal is also to deliver the best ever Rugby World Cup Sevens and with just over a year to go to the tournament, excitement is building and planning and preparation is gathering momentum. The Rugby Union of Russia, the Russian Government, and the City of Moscow are committed to delivering an event that will drive further growth in the region, delivering a special festival around the event as well as showing Russia to Rugby fans around the world through a global broadcast platform.
“We are very proud of our Russia’s performance in New Zealand at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and I look forward to equally good performances from both our men’s and women’s teams in Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013. These are exciting times for Russian Rugby and, even more so, as Sevens prepares to make its debut as an Olympic sport at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
Vitali Mutko, Minister of Sport said that Russian Government is committed to the staging of an outstanding event and the ongoing development of a sport that has experienced considerable growth in Russia since the IOC's decision to include Rugby Sevens in the 2016 Olympic Games program.
"The Russian Government is fully committed to working with the Rugby Union of Russia and the City of Moscow to deliver a spectacular Rugby World Cup Sevens that will leave a lasting legacy for Rugby in Russia, Europe and the World," said Mutko.
"It promises to be an exceptional tournament, hosted in the renowned Luzhniki Sports Complex with its extensive range of facilities, right at the heart of Moscow. Not only will it be a festival of world-class Rugby on the field, but an entertainment festival for all the family, including music and entertainment shows and fan zones, which will showcase all the best of Russian culture and hospitality.”