IRB Women’s Series Set for Showdown as Women’s Rugby Booms

Dublin – Ireland, May 13, 2013: While New Zealand officially lifted the men’s HSBC Sevens World Series title at Twickenham on Sunday, the best Women’s Sevens teams in the world are preparing for the @IRBWomens showdown in Amsterdam this weekend.

With kick off on Friday, the destination of the trophy is still unknown with New Zealand leading the standings on 54 points after three rounds of the inaugural IRB Women’s Sevens World Series. England trail New Zealand on 46 points, while Australia are third with 38 points to ensure a mouth watering finale in Amsterdam.

But whatever cabinet the Women’s Sevens World Series trophy ends up in after this weekend, it will be the Series and Women’s Rugby that is the winner.

The Series, which also featured rounds in Dubai, Houston and Guangzhou, achieved the aim of giving leading players the chance to experience elite level, high performance competition across the globe.

“The first ever Women’s Sevens World Series has been a major success so far,” said IRB Head of Competition and Performance Mark Egan.

“We’ve invested a lot of time, money and energy into this Series, but it’s been repaid with the quality of performances and top quality tries that we’ve seen, as well as the huge number of people around the world who’ve watched the action online.”

“We can see that players are already benefitting from the increased elite-level competition, and that will stand them in good stead in the run up to the Olympics in 2016 and beyond.”

The IRB Women’s Sevens World Series climax will be streamed online on the official website

“There’s been some excellent Rugby on display during the first three rounds and I expect the bar to be raised even higher this weekend,” said IRB Rugby Committee member and Australia’s RWC Sevens 2009 winning captain Cheryl Soon.

“The girls know that with RWC Sevens in Moscow just over a month away it is crucial to be putting in the performances at this stage in the season.”

Hosting the final round of the WSWS is a major boost for Rugby in the Netherlands, and Chairman of the Nederlands Rugby Bond Willem de Jong believes the tournament can only have a positive outcome for Dutch rugby.

“We recently witnessed the registration of player number 10,000 in the Netherlands and this tournament is another timely boost for Rugby in the country. Along with the city of Amsterdam, we are looking forward to welcoming the 12 competing teams playing at the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series final leg,” he said.

Women’s Rugby is one of the fastest-growing team sports in the world and, in 2016, the finest female players will take their place alongside their male counterparts in Rio de Janeiro when Rugby returns to the Olympic Games.

The inception of an international series is a key milestone in the ongoing development of both the competitive standards and the professionalism of the Women’s Game. —- IRB

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