The International Rugby Board (IRB) and USA Sevens LLC have confirmed the line-up of nations set to compete at the USA Sevens, round five of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
The tournament will be played at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, and for the first time in history, will be played across three days with two pool rounds on Friday, February 10, the third round and quarterfinals on Saturday, February 11, culminating with finals matches being played on Sunday, February 12, 2012.
Reigning Series champions New Zealand head the cast of teams who compete at every round of the Series, including: Fiji, South Africa, England, France, Australia, Wales, Samoa, Argentina, Scotland and Kenya.
In addition to host country the United States, neighboring Canada will join Japan, Uruguay and Brazil in the Series competition.
The introduction of Brazil is especially noteworthy, as Rugby Sevens will make its Olympic debut at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. And as host nation of the 2016 Olympic Games, Brazil will undoubtedly hold a unique place in the future of the sport of rugby.
Newly re-elected IRB Chairman, Bernard Lapasset, said: "The 2011/12 HSBC Sevens World Series has already lit the imagination of fans around the world, and with five Cup finalists and three different champions already at the opening trio of rounds, the competitive edge is stronger than ever.
"The success of the USA Sevens tournament continues to grow every year, with more fans supporting the teams in Las Vegas and millions of viewers tuning in across the States on NBC, and around the world on the many broadcasters showing the Series.
"These are incredibly exciting times for Rugby as Sevens builds towards its Olympic debut in Rio in 2016. To have a competitive Brazil side in Las Vegas alongside the rest of the teams only serves to remind everyone of our Olympic countdown."
USA Sevens Tournament Director, Dan Lyle, commented: "The growth of Rugby in the United States has been on a rocket-like trajectory. Being the largest tournament in North America, with record-breaking television reach both domestically and internationally, USA Sevens has been a major part of that growth. And with the addition of Brazil to this year’s tournament, we expect to continue the sport’s expansion throughout the Americas."
For more information about the 2012 USA Sevens tournament, please visit www.usasevens.com.
About USA Sevens
USA Sevens LLC owns and operates the USA Sevens Rugby Tournament under an exclusive commercial license from USA Rugby. Held annually, the event is the fifth of nine stops on the international HSBC Sevens World Series world tour. The USA Sevens Rugby Tournament is the largest rugby event in North America, as well as the largest rugby event ever to be held in the United States. USA Sevens LLC is a division of American International Media, a company whose business activities include: the USA Sevens tournament in Las Vegas; the Collegiate Rugby Championship, a new rugby sevens event created with NBC Sports to promote the growth of Rugby in America; and its media holdings RUGBY magazine, usasevens.com, and rugbymag.com.