Uruguay’s men and Brazil’s women have claimed the final remaining spots at the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013, which will take place from June 28-30 in Moscow’s iconic Luzhniki Stadium.
The CONSUR Sevens Championship took place over the weekend in Rio de Janeiro in a tournament that doubled as the South America qualification tournament for RWC Sevens.
There were few surprises as far as the women’s section was concerned, with Brazil taking the title for a ninth consecutive year. But despite their dominance in the region, Brazil had to fight very hard in the final to beat a spirited Argentina side, coached by Sevens legend Santiago Gómez Cora. Under a blazing sun in Rio, the Brazilians won 27-14.
"For us, it is a feeling of mission accomplished," said Brazil’s Julia Sardá after receiving the trophy from CONSUR President Carlos Barbieri.
"It is great to win again but we never take anything for granted and we had worked very hard with our coach Youssef Driss and our fitness trainer Darryl Collins to ensure that we were all ready and confident. We are trying a new brand of Rugby and this is a very important win."
Meanwhile, Uruguay’s men were unable to defend their CONSUR Sevens title successfully but their position in the final against Argentina, who had automatically qualified for the RWC Sevens in Moscow, means they will compete at a third consecutive RWC Sevens.
"We are delighted with qualification to Moscow," said Juan Diego Ormaechea, who celebrated with his brother Agustin, who was also in the team.
"We took this tournament with the seriousness it demanded and we had a long and hard preparation. Going to RWC Sevens was our reward but we really wanted to be champions."
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With just four months to go before the RWC Sevens 2013 takes place in Moscow the countdown is really on. The Pool Allocation Draw takes place at Petroff Palace in the Russian capital on Thursday and the remaining rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series and the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series will be important for the teams as they seek to hit peak performance by the time they arrive in Moscow.
Rugby is accelerating in growth and interest in Russia, boosted by the country's love and support of Olympic sports. A strong schools programme in the Moscow region, two professional leagues with strong attendances and a passion for major sporting events points to a very strong crowd at the Luzhniki Stadium, which hosted the Olympic Games in 1980 and, more recently, has staged other top-level sporting events, including the 2008 UEFA Champions League final.
The Sevens experience will be further enhanced with a cultural, music and food festival set to provide an additional dimension to a sport that is globally renowned for its high-quality entertainment on and off the field of play.
Working in partnership with the City of Moscow and Russian Government, the RUR has been able to implement an attractive ticketing programme, starting at just US$5 to attract a new wave of Rugby fans.