Rugby World Cup Sevens
Russia prepares for Sevens spectacular
ESPN Staff
June 30, 2012
Russia's Denis Simplikevich dives across for his try, Australia v Russia, Rugby World Cup, Trafalgar Park, Nelson, October 1, 2011
Denis Simplikevich scores for Russia against Australia in last year's World Cup © Getty Images
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The International Rugby Board hope Russia's hosting of the Rugby World Cup Sevens will introduce the sport to new audiences ahead of its induction into the Olympics.

With a year to go until Rugby World Cup Sevens kicks off in Moscow, preparations are "progressing well" according to IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset. The quadrennial event will be hosted at the iconic Luzhniki Olympic Complex between June 28 and 30, and will feature the top 24 men's and top 16 women's teams.

The success of the 2009 tournament was instrumental in securing a place for Sevens at the Olympic Games in the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.

Lapasset said: "With a year to go until Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 kicks off in Moscow, I am confident that the event will be an outstanding success on and off the field, showcasing men's and women's Rugby Sevens to new audiences around the world.

"Planning and preparation is progressing well and the Rugby Union of Russia, the City of Moscow and the Russian Government working in partnership with Rugby World Cup Limited, are focused on delivering a world class event for players and fans. I am sure that the reward for their dedication will be a superb and memorable event that will write another strong chapter in the Rugby World Cup Sevens success story.

"I am sure that all attending the event will see world class Rugby, highly competitive men's and women's matches and above all, have a great time. Our message for the people of Russia is come and enjoy the latest Olympic Sport. We look forward to welcoming you all to the Rugby family."

The qualification begins this weekend with the European Women's competition at the Luzhniki Stadium. The tournament website is live, tournament ambassadors appointed and tickets will go on sale shortly.

Rugby Union of Russia president Vyacheslav Kopiev said: "Our goal is also to deliver the best ever Rugby World Cup Sevens and with just over a year to go to the tournament, excitement is building and planning and preparation is gathering momentum.

"We are very proud of our Russia's performance in New Zealand at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and I look forward to equally good performances from both our men's and women's teams in Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013. These are exciting times for Russian Rugby and, even more so, as Sevens prepares to make its debut as an Olympic sport at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games."

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