RWC Sevens could return to Murrayfield

RWC Sevens could return to Murrayfield

Despite missing out on any role in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which is expected to be awarded to England today, officials in Scotland could still attract a global tournament to Murrayfield after the Scottish government announced yesterday that it would support any bid for the 2013 RWC Sevens tournament. The Scottish Rugby Union has yet to decide whether it will try to win the rights to the event - they are waiting for full details of what it would involve - but on a visit to the Borders yesterday, Alex Salmond, the First Minister, made it clear that any attempt to take such a high-profile tournament to Murrayfield would be with his government's blessing.

Despite missing out on any role in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which is expected to be awarded to England today, officials in Scotland could still attract a global tournament to Murrayfield after the Scottish government announced yesterday that it would support any bid for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament.

The Scottish Rugby Union has yet to decide whether it will try to win the rights to the event - they are waiting for full details of what it would involve - but on a visit to the Borders yesterday, Alex Salmond, the First Minister, made it clear that any attempt to take such a high-profile tournament to Murrayfield would be with his government's blessing.

Murrayfield already hosts one of the major Sevens events annually - it is the final stop of the eight leg IRB Sevens Series, which travels to Dubai, George, Wellington, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Adelaide and London, before moving to Edinburgh, and Salmond wants to use this as a platform for a potential bid.

“In May, Murrayfield will again host the finale of the IRB World Sevens Series and should Scottish Rugby be keen on putting their name forward to host the RWC Sevens in 2013, we would be delighted to give them our full support in ensuring it is a world-class tournament,” Salmond said.

Since the teams are playing for the Melrose Cup, named after the town where Sevens was invented, it was particularly appropriate that Salmond made the announcement at the Greenyards, the Melrose club's headquarters.

If Scotland did host the tournament, it would go some way to nullify the disappointment felt in the SRU after the RFU did not favour a four home unions’ bid for the World Cup to go it alone, and it would also mean the RWC Sevens would return to where the inaugural tournament was staged 20 years ago.

Salmond gave the Scottish government's support, plus an extra £10,000, also to the work being done to expand the number of people playing rugby in Scotland after the sport's governing body announced that it had managed to give 120,000 pupils a taste of the game over the past ten months.

"We are giving rugby more support than it's ever had before, but our primary concern is to get people into the sport and the talent coming through. And the inspirational events can help,” he said.

The Commonwealth Games will be held in Scotland in 2014, which will play host to a Sevens tournament, and a potential Sevens World Cup the year before could also do wonders for the sport. As well as this, Scotland plays host the Touch Rugby World Cup in 2011, another format of rugby which is on the rise.

"I think the RWC Sevens a year before (the Commonwealth Games) would be fantastic as a build-up to that and is definitely worth having a go at, and helping to fund a bid for that is exactly what the government can and should do," added Salmon.

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