NEW NATIONAL SEVENS TOURNAMENT :: 19 Apr 15:04
WRU National Competition Launched To Showcase Summer Sevens Rugby In Wales
A new national seven-a-side rugby competition featuring the best club teams in Wales for a day-long knock out tournament is being launched by the Welsh Rugby Union. The inaugural WRU National Sevens competition will be held at Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday, 25 August, 2013.
It will involve teams from all 12 semi-professional Principality Premiership clubs, the two top SWALEC Championship teams from season 2012/13, RGC 1404 and the Wales Students sevens team. The new tournament is being heralded as a showcase for the sevens game in Wales which will help boost support and participation in the seven a side game.
Wales are the current Rugby World Cup Sevens champions – they will defend their title at the 2013 RWC Sevens in Moscow in June – and sevens is due to feature at the next Olympic Games in Rio along with the existing Commonwealth Games involvement.
The WRU National Sevens competition will be an annual event in the Welsh rugby calendar and will have substantial prize money. It will feature a Cup and Plate competition, with the first round losers taking part in the second tier tournament.
The WRU National Sevens will revive a showcase sevens competition for Wales which last existed in the 1990s with the Snelling Sevens. That competition was in place from 1954 to 1995 and attracted huge crowds at its peak when it was hosted at Cardiff Arms Park.
The WRU Head of Rugby, Joe Lydon, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce this important new competition which will showcase the sevens game at a time when it is growing in popularity.
“The success of the HSBC Sevens World Series and the inclusion of Rugby Sevens in the Olympic Games has attracted a new wave of interest and the time is right for supporters in Wales to get to see the game played by some of our best players. Many of the Wales Sevens squad are Premiership players and they regularly face the best teams in the world game.
“Sevens is an area of rugby where some of our most skilful players can develop their talents and create some incredible plays. You only have to look at our current senior international squad to see how important sevens is for player development.
“The likes of Alex Cuthbert, Justin Tipuric, Lloyd Williams, James Hook, Jamie Roberts and Aaron Shingler have all benefitted from international sevens as a key part of their rugby development. Many Welsh rugby fans will remember the days of the Snelling Sevens and this new competition will offer them the chance to enjoy some great summer rugby once more here in Wales.”