Friday, July 6, 2012

Toronto should be added to the IRB Sevens World Series

BMO Field, Toronto
Following the recent addition of La Plata to the IRB Sevens World Circuit all regions recognized by the IRB will host at least one leg of the 2012-2013 competition. The Argentine city of La Plata joins Las Vegas, Nevada to give the Americas two legs of the ten leg circuit. This places the combined region of the Americas together with Europe and Oceania as regions hosting two legs of the circuit. The remainig four legs are hosted by Africa and Asia with Asia hosting three. Curiously Asia is the only region with no Tier One side and the only Tier Two side from Asia, Japan, is the newest Asian host following the inclusion of Tokyo for the 2011-2012 circuit. 

The circuit has proven to be successful and with the season running from October - May there is room for additional legs to take place as despiting starting in mid October there are noticable intervals with no circuits being played. For instance, La Plata will host the event on the weekend of October 20-21 while the next leg will be played six weeks latter in Dubai. One week after the Dubai Sevens, South Africa will host its leg in Port Elizabeth on the weekend of December 7-8. The following leg, however, will not be played until February 1-2 in Wellington. Whiele the moths of February, March and may all have two legs there are none played in April. These gaps could be filled by having more legs should there be appropriate places avaliable. 

One place which should be seriously considered is Canada´s largest city, Toronto. The Canadian international mens team have played two home test matches at the BMO Field in Toronto over the past two seasons. On both occassions the team recieved significantly larger crowds than what is normal for Canadian matches. The Canada vs USA match in 2011 was the biggest ever home match for Canada until the Canada vs Italy match played last month at the same venue. The venue was not full but the team was, on both occassions, well supported. The atmosphere at the games was positive for both matches and is certain to see the city host Canada´s biggest home match every year in the near future.

Built in 2007 and expanded in 2010, the BMO Field has a capacity of 22,000, making it a larger stadium than Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow, the venue for Scotland´s leg of the circuit. It also has a capacity of around 5,000 less than the venues used in Australia and Japan, making it a realistic option. It looks potentially as being a good option to host a leg in late April when it is spring in Toronto. The city will host a Rugby Sevens event of note when, in Toronto hosts the 2015 Pan American Games. The city of Toronto and the governing body of Canadian rugby, Rugby Canada, will be working together in planning for the Rugby Sevens tournament at the Pan American Games as they also should for the city to host a leg of the IRB World Sevens Series. 
AustraliaGold CoastOctober 13-14 2012
ArgentinaLa PlataOctober 20-21 2012
DubaiDubaiNovember 30-December 1 2012
South AfricaPort ElizabethDecember 7-8 2012
New ZealandWellingtonFebruary 1-2 2013
United StatesLas VegasFebruary 8-10 2013
Hong KongHong KongMarch 22-24 2013
JapanTokyoMarch 30-31 2013
ScotlandGlasgowMay 4-5 2013
EnglandLondonMay 11-12 2013


1 comment:

  1. As a Canadian Rugby fan, I'd welcome this change!