Lausanne, Switzerland: The International Rugby Board and Rugby Football Union have announced that the London Sevens will play host to an IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup in May. The showcase women’s event, featuring 12 invitational international teams, will follow in the footsteps of a successful tournament in Dubai last December and one scheduled for Hong Kong this month.
The IRB Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup will be played alongside the final round of the HSBC Sevens World Series at Twickenham on May 12-13 in front of what tournament organisers are hoping will be a record crowd for a Sevens event at the iconic venue.
The 12 teams invited by the IRB are: Sevens world champions Australia, hosts England, Dubai winners Canada, USA, the Netherlands, Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 hosts Russia, Brazil, China, Kazakhstan, France, South Africa and Portugal.
Women’s Rugby is one of the fastest growing forms of the sport and, with the Rugby family counting down to the debut of men’s and women’s rugby sevens in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the event will provide high-level competition for the teams and a strong platform to demonstrate the considerable performance advances in elite Women’s Rugby to a worldwide television audience.
Women’s rugby sevens proved very popular at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, in 2010. Kazakhstan won the gold, followed by China (silver) and Thailand (bronze).Source: www.olympic.org, www.irbsevens.com