Rugby Sevens in Asia will receive a major
boost this weekend as the opening tournament of the inaugural
Asian Rugby Sevens Series kicks off in China.
The Shanghai Sevens, played at the Shanghai
Rugby Football Club, is the first of six exciting two-day events
which make up the regional Series sanctioned by the International
Rugby Board and the Asian Rugby Football Union.
tournament will feature national teams from all over Asia
including hosts China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Chinese
Taipei and represents the true spread of Rugby Sevens across a
region that has a strong appetite for its non-stop action format.
"With Rugby Sevens enjoying an increasing profile in Asia,
the Asian Rugby Sevens Series represents an exciting opportunity
for the Sport to reach out to new fans in the region, people who
are increasingly drawn to the appeal of an event that showcases
skill, speed and strength in a unique festival environment," said
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.
"The superb performances of
the Asian teams at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 was a highlight of
the Dubai tournament with China and Thailand featuring in the
inaugural Women's event and Japan and Hong Kong in the men's
tournament. TV viewing figures for Sevens continue to grow in
Asia, while the Rugby Sevens tournament at the World Games in
Chinese Taipei in July attracted a crowd of 37,000."
Rugby Sevens and Golf recommended by the IOC Executive Board for
inclusion in the 2016 Olympic Games,
the establishment of an Asian Sevens Series is another
massive boost for a Sport that truly enjoys universal
appeal for men and women," Lapasset added.
After Shanghai, the Series will move to the Philippines,
Brunei, Borneo and Iran finishing with the Sri Lanka Sevens on
Regional Sevens tournaments play an
important role in the development of Rugby Sevens around the
world. In addition to Asia, existing Series in Europe, Africa,
Oceania, North America and South America provide the platform for
developing nations to test themselves in an international class
environment, while also providing a clear pathway to gaining a
place in the record-breaking annual IRB Sevens World Series.
The IRB Sevens World Series 2009-10 kicks off with the first
of eight events covering four continents in Dubai on December 4-5.
Asian Rugby Sevens Series 2009 Schedule
Sevens, China - September 12-13
Subic Sevens, Philippines -
Brunei Sevens - October 24-25
Kota Kinabalu - October 31 - November 1
Kish Island Sevens,
Iran - November 20-22
Sri Lanka Sevens, November 28-29
See other recent news regarding: