It’s a massive challenge for sports popular outside the US to take on the powerhouses of the NFL, NBA & MLB for participants, supporters and media airtime in this country. However rugby in the US has slowly been building towards a member base of 98,000 and is particularly popular and played throughout most colleges. This Friday 1st Feb and Saturday 2nd Feb, Houston and Texas rugby fans have the opportunity to welcome the best international women’s rugby teams with one the most exciting competitions in the game – Sevens Rugby.
Women’s Rugby is one of the world’s fastest growing team sports and the International Rugby Board and USA Rugby awarded Houston and the new BBVA Stadium a multi-year deal to host one of the International Rugby Women’s Sevens World Series events to prepare teams for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro – where rugby will debut as a new Olympic sport.
The competition will mirror the men’s Sevens series, with each 12-team event featuring six core teams who will play across all four events and six teams who will be invited based on regional tournament rankings, reflecting the IRB’s strategic aim to mix the top teams in the world with the best up and coming teams from each of the six IRB Regional Associations.
The six core teams for the inaugural Series are Australia, Canada, England, the Netherlands, New Zealand and USA. The six invited teams for this series are Brazil, South Africa, Russia, Japan, Argentina and Trinidad & Tobago.
After their win at the inaugural round in Dubai in December, New Zealand’s women head Pool A and face two other core sides in England and the Netherlands, as well as the debutants from Trinidad and Tobago. Having reached the final in Dubai, South Africa start in Houston as second seeds. They line up in Pool B and face the daunting challenge of both North American heavyweights, hosts USA and Canada, as well as the improving Argentineans. Pool C is headed by the fourth-ranked side in the Series standings after round one, Australia, who face Russia, Brazil and Japan.
The event has partnered with the Houston Area Women’s Center and will donate $1.00 from each event ticket sold.