- Deputy Prime Minister endorses Rugby as a future national sport
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The Rugby Union of Russia and the International Rugby Board have formally launched Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013.
Speaking at a special media event in New Plymouth ahead of Russia’s first ever Rugby World Cup match, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov declared that the stage was set for Russians to fall in love with Rugby.
“The secret is out! There is a revolution taking place in Russian Rugby. Russians are taking to Rugby like our bears to honey. Rugby is a sport that suits the Russian character," said Zhukov.
Zhukov pledged Government support for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013, a milestone event for a country that is experiencing growing participation burgeoning profile.
“The IRB has led the way in displaying great trust in our vast potential. It has recognised our progress and awarded us Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013. The event will open the next chapter in our great country becoming a Rugby superpower.”
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 will see the finest men’s and women’s teams battle for a prize that will set the scene ahead of Rugby Sevens’ Olympic Games debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The Rugby Union of Russia, the city of Moscow and the Russian Government will work together to host an event that will showcase the best of Russia and the very best of Rugby Sevens.
“We are committed to delivering an exceptional event. We understand that Rugby Sevens is much more than what happens on the pitch. It is the fans from around the world coming together in a celebration of sport," added Zhukov.
International Rugby Board Chairman Bernard Lapasset said he is expecting Moscow 2013 to be an exceptional event.
“The IRB is committed to growing the Game in emerging and new territories and the awarding of Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 to Moscow underscores our commitment to this process," said Lapasset.
“Moscow 2013 will not just be an exceptional global showcase, with the support of the Russian Government it will provide the platform to boost participation and interest in a country that really is embracing Rugby.”
“We are excited about the potential of Rugby Sevens. We are already a long way down the road in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games where our finest men’s and women’s Sevens athletes will have the opportunity to compete on the world’s greatest sporting stage.”
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 in Dubai set record attendance and broadcast figures. The historic event, which was the first to incorporate a 16-team women’s competition running alongside a 24-team men’s competition, was broadcast to 760 million people in 141 countries through 29 international broadcasters in 19 languages.
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