Lignano the focus as beach rugby blossoms

(IRB.COM) Friday 19 July 2013
 Lignano the focus as beach rugby blossoms
Diving for a try looks a lot more spectacular on the beach in Lignano

With much of Europe currently enjoying high temperatures, it seems fitting that attention turns to Beach Rugby this weekend on Italy’s Adriatic coast with the Lignano International Cup taking place on Saturday and Sunday.

The 13th edition of the renowned Beach Fives tournament is expected to see some 10,000 fans in attendance in the arena over the two days with a similar figure predicted to watch the live stream broadcast of the event.

Twelve teams representing Belgium, England, Italy, Austria, France, USA, the Netherlands and the Pacific Islands will all be in action on Saturday, showcasing a sport which continues to grow in popularity.

“Since the IRB officially recognised the Beach Fives format in 2010, interest in the sport has simply exploded,” admitted Tournament Director Cesare Zambelli.

“The popularity of Beach Rugby is a phenomenon. It’s played in many different formats including Touch and Tag. But where Beach Fives is different is that it’s full contact. It is great fun for the players but you couldn’t really call it ‘leisure’.

“Each match is an intense and highly competitive 10 minutes of play. The speed of the game and the simplicity of the rules make it instantly understandable for a newcomer, while the competitive ‘contact’ element has a captivating force bringing both player and fans interests together.”

The IRB recognises the three variations of Beach Rugby and supports each of them.