Ryan: "Massive season for sevens"
June 30, 2012
Ben Ryan: Massive year for Argentinian rugby © Getty Images
England Sevens coach Ben Ryan believes this season will be the "biggest ever" for the sport following the release of the schedule for the 2012-13 HSBC Sevens World Series and Rugby World Cup Sevens.
The series has been expanded to ten legs, including a new tournament in Argentina, with the World Cup to follow the conclusion of the series next June. Sevens will also officially become an Olympic sport following the London 2012 Games.
England, who finished third in last season's World Series, begin their campaign in the first leg on Australia's Gold Coast in October with the series finishing with the Marriott London Sevens at Twickenham on May 11 and 12.
"It's probably the biggest ever year for sevens," said Ryan. "The HSBC Sevens World Series is now set up with ten tournaments in five pairs and visits every continent, the season ends with the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow and we'll be in the Olympic cycle for the first time which all underlines where the sport is going.
"They're passionate about their rugby in Argentina, their sevens side has been doing very well in recent years and with the Pumas entry into The Rugby Championship, it's a massive year for the sport there.
"We're very excited about the venue too. It looks very similar to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth and stages huge events like the Copa America football as well as the Pumas vs New Zealand test in September so there should be a great atmosphere."
England are in Moscow this weekend for the second leg of the FIRA AER European GP Series where Wales, Russia, Georgia, the Netherlands and Ukraine are their pool stage opponents. They lifted the Lyon title earlier this month following a 26-14 final victory against Portugal in the final.
England Sevens for Moscow GP:
Dan Bibby, John Brake, Chris Brightwell, Michael Ellery, James Lightfoot-Brown, Tom Mitchell, Ollie Phillips (Unattached), Jack Preece, James Rodwell, Nick Royle, Jeffrey Williams, Matt Williams (Bristol Rugby).
HSBC Sevens World Series 2012/13
Round 1: October 13-14 - Australia (Gold Coast)
Round 2: October 20-21- Argentina (La Plata)
Round 3: Nov 30-Dec 1 - Dubai
Round 4: December 7-8 - South Africa (Port Elizabeth)
Round 5: February 1-2 - New Zealand (Wellington) Round 6: February 8-10 - USA (Las Vegas)
Round 7: March 22-24 - Hong Kong
Round 8: March 30-31 - Japan (Tokyo)
Round 9: May 4-5 - Scotland (Glasgow)
Round 10: May 11-12 - England (Marriott London Sevens)
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013
June 28-30 - Russia (Moscow)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"It does sometimes get tough as you get older, but there's nothing else I'd rather do." Tom Hamilton talks to fly-half Dan Carter
Stingers, a rampaging Fijian and two Dannys looking to be champions of the world - Monday Maul looks at some key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Top 14, Super Rugby and the Aviva Premiership with fireworks and monsters both featuring
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds