Moscow plays host to the sixth IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens on June 28-30 and Sky Sports will screen live coverage of the final two days of competition from Luzhniki Stadium.
It will be the sixth RWC Sevens to be staged and the second to comprise of both men’s and women’s competitions following on from its successful debut in Dubai in 2009.
Since then, this faster seven-a-side incarnation of rugby union has gone on to achieve Olympic status.
The first gold medals in the sport will be awarded at the 2016 Games in Rio, with the Olympic competition taking over from the RWC Sevens as the sport’s flagship competition.
Wales are the defending mens RWC Sevens champions after they beat Argentina in a close final four years, claiming its first major IRB tournament win in the process, while Australia were the inaugural women’s champions.
The RWC Sevens tournament brings together the world’s top sevens players across 24 men’s and 16 women’s teams, representing a total of 28 nations.
The men will be competing for the prestigious Melrose Cup, a trophy named after a small town in Scotland where the first sevens rugby match was played.
Whilst all rugby eyes have justifiably been focussed on the British & Irish Lions Tour of Australia, the 2013 RWC Sevens is sure to provide plenty of thrills and excitement for fans of this energetic, fast-paced version of the sport.
The inaugural RWC Sevens was also held in Scotland exactly 20 years ago, when an England team featuring Lawrence Dallaglio triumphed at Murrayfield.
Two decades on from the first staging of the Sevens World Cup, the sport now boasts a vast global appeal and will be part of the Olympic programme for the first time from Rio 2016 onwards, with RWC Sevens tournament also set to continue.
A number of the teams playing in the men’s tournament take part in the highly competitive IRB 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.
Defending men’s champions Wales are unlikely to sneak under the radar as they did in Dubai four years ago as they will have to overcome Fiji in their group to stand any chance of retaining their silverware.
England will be competing in both the men’s and women’s competitions. Despite indifferent form in recent years, the men’s side enter the competition buoyed by recent impressive outings, which included the Wellington Sevens title, and can never be entirely ruled out.
The home nations and the rest of the world will do well to rival the imperious New Zealand team in Moscow.
Firm favourites to lift their second RWC Sevens crown, the All Blacks dominated the sport with an unrivalled eleven World Series titles alongside countless other honours over the years.
All the RWC Sevens action takes place in a matter of days and come Sunday evening we will know who has lifted the famous Melrose Cup.
Sky Sports will screen live coverage of the final two days of action at the 2013 IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in Moscow.
Saturday’s action will be shown behind the Red Button on Sky Sports 3 from 1.55pm featuring the concluding matches from the men’s pool stages, including England v Argentina (k/o 2.48pm) and South Africa v Scotland (4.16pm).
On Sunday, James Gemmell will present more than 12 hours of continuous live coverage of the entire knockout stages and the finals on Sky Sports 3 HD, starting at 6.15am and running through to 7.00pm.
Sky’s live coverage will also feature selected matches from the women’s tournament, including the pool stages on Saturday and the knockout rounds on Sunday.
Match commentary in Moscow will be provided by the IRB world feed team that includes Nigel Starmer-Smith, Keith Quinn, Scott Hastings, Ben Gollings and Wyn Gruffydd.
In addition to Sky Sports’ live TV coverage, the IRB will be providing a full live video streaming service from the main stadium across all three days for fans, available for free in the UK and around the world, via www.rwcsevens.com.
ITV4 will screen a one-hour review of the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens two weeks after the tournament is staged, on Saturday, July 13 at 10.50am, presented by Seb Lauzier and Shirley Robertson.
Friday 28th June DAY 1 – Men’s Pool Stage Matches No UK TV Coverage LIVE: 11.55am-5.00pm Online streaming via RWCSevens.com
Saturday 29th June DAY 2 – Men’s & Women’s Pool Stage Matches LIVE: 2.45pm-5.45pm Sky Sports 3 (via Red Button) LIVE: 5.55am-6.00pm Online streaming via RWCSevens.com Sunday 30th June DAY 3 – Men’s & Women’s Knockout Stages / Final LIVE: 6.15am-7.00pm Sky Sports 3 LIVE: 6.00am-7.00pm Online streaming via RWCSevens.com Saturday 13th July IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013: Review 10.50am-12.00pm ITV4