The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced that the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) has fallen off the schedule of 2012-13 Sevens World Series host destinations due to “logistical challenges”.
The IRB confirmed the news on Thursday, stating that the decision was made following a review of all operational requirements by the UAR taken “in full consultation with all stakeholders”. The IRB said the UAR will now focus on ensuring the delivery of a Sevens event in 2013-14 as well as the successful inauguration of Argentina into The Rugby Championship this year.
IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The IRB understands and fully supports what was a very difficult decision for the UAR. They have kept us fully informed throughout the review process and we believe that the decision they have taken is in the best interests of the Union, Argentinean rugby and the HSBC Sevens World Series. The Union is dedicated to the delivery of a memorable and successful Series event that showcases rugby in South America. By extending the delivery timescale we can work in partnership with the UAR and all stakeholders to ensure that the event in 2013-14 achieves all strategic aims, is beneficial for rugby in Argentina and South America and secures its place on the Series as one of the must see events.”
The IRB has underwritten significant support for the UAR to ensure that the Union is able to compete at the top table of world rugby. The IRB is providing an initial US$10 million funding package to substantially underwrite Argentina’s entry into the expanded Tri Nations competition up to 2015. The Tri Nations is being rebranded as The Rugby Championship and Argentina’s entry is also being backed by a multi-million dollar investment from SANZAR, the umbrella body of Australian, New Zealand and South African rugby.
UAR president Luis Castillo added: “This has been a difficult decision to take as we are excited about our HSBC Sevens World Series hosting opportunity. However, the logistical challenges are too significant to successfully deliver an event this year that is beneficial for all stakeholders and we would like to thank the IRB for their support and understanding in this matter. We are now all focused on ensuring that all the processes are in place to ensure that our debut in 2013-14 is a successful one.”
Argentina’s exit from the 2012-13 Sevens World Series calendar means it will now comprise nine rounds beginning in Gold Coast (Australia) on October 13-14, before running to its conclusion in London (England) on May 11-12. The Russian capital of Moscow will then host the 2013 World Cup Sevens tournament from June 28-30.