The action and excitement of the Rugby Sevens at Ibrox Stadium over the weekend will be one of THE spectacles of the Commonwealth Games, Gavin Hastings said today.
The former Scotland Captain said the two-day event would be watched by an audience of more than 175,000 – the largest ever number of people to watch rugby live in Scotland over a single weekend.
Speaking at a press conference at the Commonwealth Games main press centre today, he said: “Rugby Sevens is set to grow massively around the world and the Commonwealth Games brings a real boost to the sport.
“Rugby Sevens are synonymous with people having a party. There’s a saying that if you’re not enjoying yourself, you can just turn around and watch the rugby.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be one of the spectacles of the Games.”
All 16 teams play in each of the four sessions with a total of 45 matches being played across the two days of fierce competition in a fast, furious and dynamic contest.
And there are still some tickets available - in particular for the Saturday night session. Tickets can be bought on the website or by calling 0800 458 2014. They are also available on the door with the Venue Ticket Office at Ibrox opening from 8am tomorrow morning. Spectators are advised to arrive in good time to buy or collect tickets as it is expected to be very busy.
Gavin, who is one of the Chieftains at the Athletes’ Village, said: “For anyone who hasn’t watched Rugby Sevens this is a great chance to come along and see it.”
He added: “The Village is terrific. There is wonderful atmosphere there and it’s great to see everyone with smiles on their faces. The athletes have been complimenting the great hospitality and the quality of the food.”
Ibrox has been transformed into a rugby ground for the event. The temporary new-look for the football stadium during the Commonwealth Games has seen the pitch lengthened by 15 metres, the walls at each end raised and fitted with padding to protect players and the goal posts replaced with…. rugby posts.
Rugby Sevens is famous for its festival atmosphere and there will be a special party stand with 3,200 seats where spectators are encouraged to come in fancy dress.
Once the Games are over, the rugby posts will be removed, the goals replaced and the pitch and spectator areas returned to their original size, ready for Rangers first match of the new season.
Reigning champions New Zealand, who have won all four Commonwealth Gold medals to date, will face Canada in the opening match of the competition on Saturday July 26 while Delhi finalists Australia take on Sri Lanka.
Home nations Scotland, England and Wales kick off their campaigns later in the morning session against New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Malaysia respectively.
The 16 teams who will strive for the coveted Gold medal in front of packed audiences at Ibrox Stadium are: Australia, Barbados, Canada, Cook Islands, England, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Wales.
Rugby Sevens will be in the Olympic programme for the first time in Rio2016.