Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset believes that Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow will "deliver an event like no other", inspiring Rugby's growth in Russia and taking one of the world's must-see sporting events to another level.
Speaking at a star-studded RWC Sevens 2013 Pool Allocation Draw in the capital city, where the 24 men's and 16 women's teams representing 28 nations learned their opposition for the pool phase, the Frenchman said that event preparations are on track for what promises to be a spectacular three-day celebration of sport, culture and entertainment.
"I am confident that Russia 2013 will be a resounding success. It will be an event that will bring people together from across this great sporting country and around the world to have fun, enjoy world-class Rugby, and experience the very best of Russian hospitality."
"Russia is a great Olympic nation. The Russian people love Olympic sports, and as we continue to look forward to Rugby Sevens' Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016, this event represents a great opportunity to showcase our sport in growing Rugby markets and inspire interest and engagement in Russia and around the world."
"Planning and preparation is on track and Russia has a proud history of staging exceptional major sporting and cultural events. The Rugby Union of Russia and the Russian Government in partnership with the IRB will deliver a world class festival on and off the pitch. It will be a Rugby World Cup Sevens festival like no other."
The event itself was a symbol of how far Rugby World Cup Sevens has come since its inception in 1993. Legendary cosmonauts, Olympians and Rugby greats joined forces to draw the teams at the event, which was attended by a large number of media and broadcast live via Russia 2.
The 2013 Rugby World Cup Men's Pools:
Pool A: Australia, France, Spain, Tunisia.
Pool B: South Africa, Scotland, Russia, Japan.
Pool C: Samoa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Philippines.
Pool D: New Zealand, USA, Canada, Georgia.
Pool E: Fiji, Wales, Tonga, Uruguay.
Pool F: England, Argentina, Portugal, Hong Kong.
The 2013 Rugby World Cup Women's Pools:
Pool A: Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, Tunisia.
Pool B: Australia, South Africa, China, Ireland.
Pool C: USA, Spain, Brazil, Fiji.
Pool D: England, Russia, France, Japan.
About Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 will be held in Moscow, Russia between 28-30 June. It will be the sixth RWC Sevens and the second comprising a men’s and women’s tournament, following the event in Dubai in 2009. The defending men’s champions are Wales. Australia were the inaugural women’s champions. The men’s tournament in 2013 is made up of 24 teams and the women’s tournament comprises 16 teams. The men will be competing for the Melrose Cup, and the women for the Women’s Rugby World Cup trophy. The inaugural RWC Sevens was held in 1993 in Scotland, the home of Rugby Sevens. The first Rugby Sevens game was held in Melrose, a small town in Scotland from which the men’s trophy gets its name. A number of the teams playing in the men’s tournament take part in the HSBC Sevens World Series, whilst some of the women’s teams have been honing their sevens skills on the inaugural IRB Women’s Sevens World Series circuit, which kicked off in Dubai in November 2012.