International Rugby Board President Bernard Lapasset has welcomed the announcement that men's and for the first time women's Rugby Sevens will feature at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico, in 2014.
The announcement comes after the IRB and the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization (CACSO) signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the popular sport feature at its second CACSO Games.
The exciting decision to retain Rugby Sevens in the programme comes after a successful inaugural CACSO Rugby Sevens competition in Guyana in 2010 and detailed evaluation of all sports by the 31 National Olympic Committees affiliated to CACSO.
The new agreement will see eight men's and women's teams compete in an event which will showcase the sport across the region.
The inclusion of a women's competition alongside the men's event further reflects the growth of Women's Rugby in a region that is preparing to host the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where Rugby Sevens will make its debut.
Lapasset said: "I would like to thank CACSO, the region's NOCs and in particular CACSO President Héctor Cardona for their ongoing support of Rugby. We are committed to delivering an exceptional and competitive event that will further the profile of the Games, Rugby and our shared values."
IRB Regional Manager for North America and the Caribbean, Tom Jones, added: "It is excellent that Rugby Sevens will once again feature at the CACSO Games. The addition of a women's event is a real endorsement of a sport that is taking off throughout the NACRA IRB region and South America (CONSUR) and inclusion will further the development of the Game on all fronts."
North America and the Caribbean are strategically important to the IRB and the overall growth of the global Game. The region has witnessed significant increases in participation over the last four years with more than 500,000 men, women and children actively participating. The IRB is investing £10.7 million in the development of the Game there between 2009 and 2012.
The 2010 Games was won by Guyana, who have been regular winners of the Caribbean Sevens title in recent years and who also scooped the coveted Guyana team of the year award after winning their sixth successive NACRA Caribbean title since 2006.
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