Madrid to host revamped World Rugby Sevens finale

Wed, Mar 22, 2023, 8:24 AM
by AFP
The World Series Finale has been locked in for Madrid. Photo: World Rugby
The World Series Finale has been locked in for Madrid. Photo: World Rugby

Madrid's Metropolitano stadium will host a revamped World Rugby Sevens Series grand final from next season, the sport's governing body announced on Tuesday.

The Spanish capital will welcome the competition's showpiece event after six other legs during the campaign.

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The home of football club Athletico Madrid has already played host to 15-a-side rugby with more than 40,000 people watching Spain play a Classic All Blacks outfit in May.

In August, Los Leones will meet Argentina in the ground with a capacity of 68,000 in the Pumas' final game before the Rugby World Cup.

"We are delighted to be welcoming Madrid, one of the world's great cities, to the World Rugby Sevens Series from 2023-24," World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said.

"With rugby on a major growth trend in Spain, Madrid’s hosting comes with the full support of the City who want to make ‘Madrid Es Rugby’ and I am sure the combination of Madrid, an iconic stadium, a new Grand Final format and a soon to be revealed entertainment offering, will make this event a must-attend for sports and entertainment fans.”

"The reimagined Sevens World Series will be a game-changer for the global growth of the game. Research insights have demonstrated that sevens plays a vital role in reaching and engaging new rugby fans, particularly in emerging rugby nations and with younger audiences. World Rugby is fully committed to the sustainable growth, innovation and success of rugby sevens as a highly impactful and successful Olympic sport with a bright future," World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin added.

“We have consulted widely with a multitude of stakeholders to achieve our shared aim of making rugby more relevant and accessible to more young people, more of the time, and in doing so growing the reach of rugby while ensuring player welfare is sacrosanct and further cementing the successful positioning of rugby sevens on the Olympic sport programme.

“Moving to full gender parity between the men’s and women’s Series reflects not just our commitment to accelerating the women’s game, but also recognition of the powerful personalities who are inspiring a new generation of fans across the globe.

“The increased promotion pathway opportunity for Challenger Series teams to reach the pinnacle Sevens World Series is also an important development, giving more teams the chance to attain a place at the top table of rugby sevens on an annual basis.”

At the Metropolitano, the eight top teams in the series will compete for the overall title with the agreement in place with Madrid until 2026.

The remaining four sides will play the top four countries in the second-tier Challenger Series in a relegation play-off.

In this men's season, there are 11 legs with 15 core teams and the last event of the campaign is at London's Twickenham.

With the restructuring, men's and women's sides will be paid the same amount for featuring in the series.

The new season, which will include the Paris Olympic Games, begins in December 2023, with the full list of host cities announced in June.


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