After comprehensive consultation with many relevant stakeholders, the Scottish Rugby Board has decided Scotland’s leg of the IRB Sevens World Series will remain at the national stadium for the next four years of the IRB agreement. The news of this decision was announced by Gordon McKie, Chief Executive of Scottish Rugby today when he addressed a Scottish Rugby Local Authorities Summit at Murrayfield and by Chairman Allan Munro at today’s Financial General Meeting.After comprehensive consultation with many relevant stakeholders, the Scottish Rugby Board has decided Scotland’s leg of the IRB Sevens World Series will remain at the national stadium for the next four years of the IRB agreement. The news of this decision was announced by Gordon McKie, Chief Executive of Scottish Rugby today when he addressed a Scottish Rugby Local Authorities Summit at Murrayfield and by Chairman Allan Munro at today’s Financial General Meeting.
The success of the inaugural Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s in June was followed by a wide ranging review of the two day event which assessed feedback from the visiting rugby teams, supporters, sponsors, other stakeholders, EventScotland, broadcasters and the IRB, with a view to determining the ideal venue for the remaining four years of the contract.
Commenting on the Board’s decision, Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Gordon McKie said, “Hosting the climax to this prestigious international sevens series at Murrayfield this summer was one of the rugby highlights of the season. It was a great success and it was wonderful to witness the fantastic atmosphere created inside the stadium and the hive of activity on the back pitches with the Martin Currie Festival of Rugby.
“The sheer size and potential for the tournament was evident from day one and with that in mind, the Board has listened to everybody’s views – not least amongst them the players themselves - and taken the decision to keep the international event at Murrayfield.”
In their review of the June event, the IRB gave a very strong endorsement and recognised the potential for growth by retaining the Scottish leg at Murrayfield.
This view has been mirrored by other stakeholders. Gary Chapman of Emirates Airlines, title sponsor of the IRB Sevens event in Edinburgh, offered his full backing for today’s decision and was full of praise for the successful delivery of the inaugural event at Murrayfield in June. He said, “Scottish Rugby did a marvellous job then and we're in no doubt it's a good decision to remain in Edinburgh. We're fully behind it and confident the event will go from strength to strength.”
Paul Bush, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, another major partner of the Edinburgh event commented, “Following the huge success of last season’s event at Murrayfield, EventScotland is delighted to continue to support Scottish Rugby for the hosting of the Scottish leg of the IRB Sevens World Series in Edinburgh.
“The IRB Sevens series is an important sporting tournament for Scotland, particularly with the imminent announcement on whether Scotland will host the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which includes rugby sevens, and our current feasibility study on staging the Rugby World Cup in 2015.
“We will work closely with Scottish Rugby and other partners to help grow the IRB Sevens World Series as a high profile international event over the next four years and, through its continued success, showcase Scotland as a world leader in hosting events.”
The inaugural Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s attracted 29,398 spectators over the two days of competition, surpassing Scottish Rugby’s target of 25,000. The spectators, many in fancy dress, entered into the carnival atmosphere amidst the colourful stadium dressing.
The Martin Currie Festival of Rugby on the back pitches enhanced the overall event by attracting 95 teams and 1,130 young participants, who were also able to see the international players at close proximity during back pitch warm ups and in competition.
One of the highlights was when hundreds of children joined other spectators inside the stadium, sitting on the track to cheer Scotland to victory over South Africa. This experience leaves a lasting legacy and encourages more young people to become or stay involved in rugby.
Scottish Rugby believes that the Scottish capital offers a fantastic setting for the prestigious event and Murrayfield provides the visiting teams with unrivalled facilities and the chance to play at one of the greatest rugby venues in the world.
Melrose was also considered by the Scottish Rugby Board as a possible venue for the IRB 7s series event but it was concluded that the historic venue would be too small for the already burgeoning requirements of the IRB’s international tournament.
However Gordon McKie, Chief Executive of Scottish Rugby added, “In recognition of this Melrose milestone, Scottish Rugby also plans to offer practical support for the 125th anniversary of the Melrose Sevens in April 2008. After recent discussions with the club, this will take the form of support for some of Melrose’s proposed additional anniversary activities, as well as entering a team which will include some Scotland 7s players.
“In addition, we also plan to assist Melrose RFC in securing important broadcasting coverage and other commercial activities.”