The International Rugby Board (IRB) has today confirmed that the rumours are true: Argentina will host a leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series. The Series has been expanded to include 10 rounds for the 2012-2013 season with La Plata having been selected. The Estádio Ciudad de La Plata is quickly becoming key to the UAR´ plans as it will host Los Pumas´ home test in The Rugby Championship vs New Zealand this year. With a capacity of 53,000 and state of the art facilities, including giant LED screens above the centre of the field, the venue, some 60KM from Buenos Aires is very much the future of Argentine rugby in the country´ capital.
The selection of La Plata by the IRB means that now all of the worlds´continents will host legs in the HSBC Sevens World Series, making it a genuine World Series and , crucially it comes in time for the region to better prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016n in which Rugby Sevens will make its debut. Argentina previously acted as a hsot for the Sevens World Series with Mar del Plata last hosting a decade ago, in 2002 and the same venue hosting the 2001 Rugby Sevens World Cup. The Americas will now have two legs with Las Vegas hosting the USA´ leg. Africa also hsots one leg (Port Elizabeth) while Oceania (Gold Coast and Wellington) and Europe (Glasgow and London) hosts two and Asia (Dubai, Hong Kong and Tokyo) hosts three. In addition to the ten legs, the 2012-2013 season will also see Russia host the Rugby Sevens World Cup in Moscow on June 28-30.
The confirmation of La Plata underlines the significant progress that Argentine rugby has been making off the field as the only Rugby World Cup Semi Finalist never to host a Rugby World Cup has succeeded in being including in The Rugby Championship and is building towards entering Super Rugby with Los Pampas XV being the start of a future Super Rugby franchise.
Former Argentine captain, UAR board member, IRB Council member and IRB Hall fo Famer Agustin Pichot told the IRB that: “These are extremely exciting times for Argentina, which is a hugely passionate rugby country. Los Pumas are due to compete shoulder-to-shoulder against the three finest teams in the world and now our rugby family can also look forward to welcoming the wonderful HSBC Sevens World Series to La Plata.
“A decade has passed since the World Series last visited South America and I am sure the players and fans are all looking forward to a massive carnival of Rugby, just four years out from Rio 2016. We look forward to welcoming everyone here for what I am sure will be a memorable experience.”
HSBC Sevens World Series 2012/13
Round 1 13-14 Oct 2012 Australia (Gold Coast)
Round 2 20-21 Oct 2012 Argentina (La Plata)
Round 3 30 Nov - 1 Dec 2012 Dubai
Round 4 7-8 Dec 2012 South Africa (Port Elizabeth)
Round 5 1-2 Feb 2013 New Zealand (Wellington)
Round 6 8-10 Feb 2013 USA (Las Vegas)
Round 7 22-24 Mar 2013 Hong Kong
Round 8 30-31 Mar 2013 Japan (Tokyo)
Round 9 4-5 May 2013 Scotland (Glasgow)
Round 10 11-12 May 2013 England (London)