Excitement is building with less than a week to go until the rugby stars of tomorrow arrive in Swansea.
Swansea University will proudly be hosting the World University Championships Rugby Sevens 6th – 9th July which will be taking place at the International Sports Village on Sketty Lane.
This biennial tournament took place for the first time in China in 2004 and has travelled the globe but this is the first time that it has taken place on UK soil.
Having played host to the 2014 IPC Athletics European Championships and European Touch Rugby Championships, Swansea University has an outstanding reputation for delivering international sporting events and also for producing some notable players and coaches including Alun Wyn Jones, Wales International Rugby player and Ospreys and Robert Howley, Wales International Rugby player and currently Wales team assistant coach.
The World University Championship will be delivered utilising the resources and networks of a number of partner organisation including Swansea University, British Universities and Colleges Sport and the Welsh Rugby Union.
As a team training base during the Rugby World Cup 2015, the Swansea University International Sports Village’s high calibre facilities boast an international reputation utilised by the Canada, Fiji and New Zealand national rugby teams amongst a range of other distinguished sporting teams and athletes.
On this occasion Swansea University is set to welcome 20 rugby sevens teams – 10 male and 10 female from 16 nations. The exciting news is that New Zealand, Australia and Czech Republic will be competing in the WUC Rugby Sevens for the first time. They will add an extra layer of excitement to this already thrilling competition which will hopefully see the Great Britain men’s team achieve a triple “whammy” with their third win in a row. Team GBR share a pool with strong international sides Australia and Italy.
The Great Britain women’s team will be fighting hard to win back their 2012 title after Canada pipped them to the post in the last tournament held in Brazil. They avoid Canada in their pool but have to negotiate challenging fixtures against New Zealand and France to progress to the finals.
Four women players (three Wales and one Swansea University player) and two men (Wales team) players have been selected for the 12 player squads representing 10 Higher Education Institutions in Great Britain.
Canada has won the WUC Rugby Sevens title more than any other team: an unprecedented 3 times. But let’s hope we will see a repeat of the 2012 result when team GBR Women and Men both won the WUC Rugby Sevens title making Great Britain the first country to both win the title in the same year.
Countries competing include Italy, France, Spain, China, Kenya, Malaysia, Canada, Namibia, Czech Republic, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Great Britain.
Rugby was officially introduced to Japanese students in 1899 but as the 2016 team coming to Swansea said “All the teams are bigger and faster than us, so we would like to show how small player do.”
Tickets for this family friendly event are on sale now at the reasonable price of £3 (child) and £5 (adult). The 14 minute matches will be taking place from 9am through to 6.30pm every day starting on Thursday 7th July building up to the final matches and presentation of medals on Saturday 9 July.
The School’s Day on Thursday will give over 300 pupils and staff from local schools a chance to see world quality skills in action. On Friday over 150 students will be watching in envy as the competition hots up.
As well as watching the fast and furious competitive games family and friends of all ages will be able to enjoy the fun-filled spectator village which will be available during the tournament where there will also be food and beverages on offer as well as a slide and face painting on Thursday. Hopefully we’ll have a great fun day out in the sun.
Don’t miss this exciting “first” for Swansea. It’s easy to get your tickets from the website, here. Buy them now and come along and cheer on the teams and give a special cheer for team GB.
With rugby sevens making its debut in the 2016 Olympics some of the players in running across the Sketty Lane pitch could be standing on the winners rostrums in Rio.
So let’s kick off the summer and show our support for our future rugby stars.
For more information about the tournament, teams, schedules etc… click here.