Any recent developments in the planning since April?
The planning continues to progress well. All the teams are now qualified, so we are entering the exciting stage where the teams thoughts and activities turn towards preparing for the Rugby World Cup Sevens. We had a very successful Pool Allocation Draw in the Petroff Palace back in February. The last legs for the menâs HSBC Sevens World Series are taking place in Glasgow and London, and for the women, their final tournament in the Womenâs series will take place in Amsterdam in mid May.
From then on, the focus will be on the World Cup in June.Â The intensity for this tournament is bigger than usual, as it is the last one before rugby sevens re-enters the Olympics in Rio 2016. The last time rugby featured in the Olympics was in the 1920s, so this is a really exciting opportunity for the game and the teams.
One of the reasons we have come to Russia is to expand the boundaries and horizons of the game, and weâre looking forward to the welcome we will receive in June.
How have the Russian team been preparing?
I havenât seen any of their practice sessions, but the Russian team did well in Hong Kong, and have qualified for the London qualification tournament for the HSBC Sevens World Series next year, so the menâs team has continued to develop. The women have done very well on the circuit this season with two top five finishes, and there is no doubt that in Amsterdam they are looking to repeat that. So the Russian teams continue to improve and I think will offer very competitive matches especially with a home crowd behind them.
What do you think of the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow where the tournament will be held?
Itâs a great iconic stadium. Itâs held everything from the Olympics to the Champions League and will host the World Athletics in August and the FIFA World Cup in 2018. Itâs a world-renowned stadium for world-renowned competitions. We are really excited about the Rugby World Cup Sevens being held there. A lot of effort has been put into getting the stadium ready; the usual surface is coming out and a grass pitch is being put in specially for the tournament.
As we have said, this is a great opportunity for the Rugby World Cup to expand its horizons into new territories, but itâs also a great opportunity for Russian rugby to develop and move forward. The stadium certainly helps with these aims and is an exciting place for the teams to show their skills and showcase Sevens.
How can you get tickets?
We have been working with the British Business Club, they are offering great hospitality packages and it will be a great opportunity for businesses and individuals to come along and get behind the event and enjoy traditional corporate rugby hospitality. You should get in touch with them in Moscow for tickets, but you should hurry.
British Business Club for Tickets:
Telephone: +7 495 727 1478,
Ordinary tournament and day tickets are available through rwcsevens.com