Regional & Multisport Sevens
Sevens set to break new ground at CACSO Games
Rugby across Central America and the Caribbean will break new ground this weekend when Rugby Sevens will feature in the Central America and Caribbean Sports Organisation (CACSO) Games for the first time.
The two-day competition featuring eight men's teams will kick-off on July 24 in Georgetown, Guyana and organisers are delighted with the level of enthusiasm demonstrated across the Region as the Rugby community builds towards Rugby Sevens' Olympic Games debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Hosts Guyana, Venezuela and Trinidad & Tobago are hot favourites to contest the gold medal, while the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Mexico and Costa Rica will also be in the running for medals in what promises to be an extremely competitive event.
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International Rugby Board (IRB) Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "These are exciting times for our sport and the hosting of this inaugural Rugby Sevens tournament at the CACSO Games represents another boost for Rugby and a major milestone for the profile and development of the sport across this strategically important Region. I look forward to a very competitive and well attended tournament."
Matches will be played at the impressive Providence Stadium, which played host to matches during the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup. The tournament will also showcase the collaborative commitment between the IRB and the North America Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) aimed at developing the Game across the Region.
IRB Regional General Manager for NACRA, Tom Jones said: "Working in partnership with NACRA, the IRB is committed to the overall growth of Rugby as well as increased competitiveness of both the men's and women's Game and annually invests over US$5 million in targeted programmes in the Region."
"Olympic Games inclusion has been welcomed enthusiastically across the Region. Its winning blend of high-paced, competitive action is attracting new fans and men's and women's participation is rapidly growing in countries such as Mexico where the 2011 Pan American Games will be hosted."
The action gets underway at 11:00 (local time) on July 24, with the final scheduled to be played at 16:45 (local time) on July 25 when the first ever CACSO Rugby Sevens champions will be crowned.
Following the completion of the 2010 CACSO Games Rugby Sevens tournament, the NACRA Regional Women's Sevens will be played at the same venue on July 26-27 and the NACRA Regional men's competition will take place on July 29-30. The winners of the NACRA men's competition will qualify for the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.