Global Rugby Sevens Tournament Featuring 12 Teams To Be Held At Twickenham
A new club rugby tournament involving sides from around the world "is to be launched this summer" in a bid to capitalize on the sport's increasing global appeal, according to Robert Kitson of the London GUARDIAN. Super Rugby side Auckland Blues, the Western Province Stormers, the ACT Brumbies and teams from Russia and the U.S. "are set to join four English clubs in the inaugural event at Twickenham" on Aug. 17-18. A total of 12 seven-a-side teams will initially be involved, with the matches televised by BT Sport, which is "poised to take over the broadcasting of the English domestic game from Sky." The tournament "reflects the rising interest in sevens as it prepares for Olympic inclusion" in '16. Premiership Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty said, "It'll be 12 teams this year, but I expect it to expand." No title sponsors have yet been confirmed, but McCafferty "is convinced that the idea will prove popular with rugby fans." McCafferty: "We think some of the clubs and provincial sides will prove big attractions at that time of year, and we feel the market is going to grow" (GUARDIAN, 5/7).