The International Rugby Board (IRB) and Australian Rugby Union (ARU) have together announced that the Gold Coast will become the new home for the Australian leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series for the next four years, and will kick off the 2011/12 World Series.
The first International Sevens Gold Coast tournament will be staged at the Skilled Stadium on Queensland’s Gold Coast on 25-26 November 2011.
The announcement represents an exciting development for the HSBC Sevens World Series, which continues to reach out to new fans, sponsors, broadcasters and now venues around the world as the global Rugby family counts down to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“The IRB is delighted that the 2011/12 HSBC Sevens World Series will kick off on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Australia’s commitment to Sevens Rugby over the years has been demonstrated by a fantastic tournament in Adelaide and I am sure that the Gold Coast will prove to be a hugely successful host, providing the platform for Sevens to reach out to yet more people,” said IRB Chairman, Bernard Lapasset.
“The HSBC Sevens World Series continues to grow from strength to strength in every way, attracting interest not only from an increasing number of fans and television broadcasters but also from global destinations keen to share in its excitement and we very much look forward to this exciting development,” he added.
The Australian Rugby Union’s decision to move the tournament comes after a thorough bidding process.
“Last November, we invited a range of interested parties from across Australia to submit proposals to host the Australian leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series and we received very competitive responses from Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and the Gold Coast,” said ARU Managing Director and CEO, John O’Neill.
“After a thorough review process, which included consultation with the International Rugby Board, I am pleased to announce that the Gold Coast was selected as the new home to one of Australia’s fastest growing sports and one of the World’s most exciting Rugby events.
“The decision to move the event to the Gold Coast for the next four years came after a thorough review of some very good proposals and I want to congratulate all the interested parties that expressed a strong desire to host the tournament.
“The Gold Coast is known around the world as a city of excitement and fun and that is exactly the atmosphere we want to permeate through to the Sevens tournament.
“We know tournaments like Dubai, Hong Kong and Wellington all put on a show that attracts people from around the world and we are confident that the decision to host this tournament on the Gold Coast will deliver another exciting opportunity for fans to enjoy international Sevens.
“I want to extend my sincere thanks to the South Australian Government and the people of Adelaide who, for the last five years, have embraced the International Rugby Sevens Adelaide tournament. Their commitment has been sincerely appreciated.”
HSBC Group Head of Sponsorship, Giles Morgan, added: “This is exciting news for rugby fans in Australia and a great location for the players to start their new international season. The growing interest in the Series in Australia, as demonstrated by the proposals received by the ARU, is replicated around the world. Australia has proved to be a great host to date and we look forward to the Gold Coast launching the 2011/12 HSBC Sevens World Series in style this November.”
The season opener is supported by the Queensland Government through Events Queensland and the Gold Coast City Council.
“Winning the bid for an event as prestigious as this is great news for the Gold Coast and great news for Queensland,” said Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh.
“At a time when we are putting the finishing touches on another bid – for the Commonwealth Games in 2018 – this reinforces our message that the Gold Coast is a first-class sporting destination and event ready in every way.
“What better place to host an international tournament than the state-of-the-art stadium at Skilled Park?
“An event of this calibre will also deliver a shot in the arm to the Gold Coast tourism industry and economy – and that’s good news for local business and local jobs.
“What’s more it will position the Gold Coast and Queensland front and centre on the world stage. I’d like to thank everyone involved in supporting this great event and bringing it to the Gold Coast and I am confident it will be a resounding success.”