Tuesday, October 9, 2012

2013 Will Be a Memorable Year for World-Class Rugby

If you like rugby then 2013 gives a host of opportunities to travel the world watching your favourite sport. The World Sevens series continues all across the globe while one of the game's most anticipated events, the British Lions tour, prepares to head for Australia.

A Favourite Leg of the Sevens Series

The IRB World Series is one of the best events on the rugby calendar but the Hong Kong Sevens is arguably everybody's favourite leg of the entire tour. The country is fanatical about its rugby and this excitement leads to a very special atmosphere during every game.

One of the main advantages of sevens rugby is its fast-paced action and that alone has introduced a whole new audience that favour it over the longer, 15-man version of the sport.

At the Hong Kong Sevens, the best sides and some of the best players from all over the world will travel here. New Zealand are the current champions and will undoubtedly be the pre-tournament favourites but sides such as Australia, England, Wales, Ireland and South Africa are all top exponents of sevens rugby and any of these nations could represent a serious threat to the All Blacks' defence of their crown.

Lions Set to Roar Down Under

The four-year wait is over for fans of the British and Irish Lions as the best players from four nations prepare to head to Australia through June and July. The rugby Lions tour ranks alongside the World Cup as the most anticipated event in the game's calendar but it has a far longer history than the sport's ultimate trophy.

The first combined British Isles side played its first game back in 1888 when Arthur Shrewsbury led an unsanctioned tour to Australia and New Zealand. In time, the rugby Lions were officially recognised by the game's authorities and they now travel to the top countries across the world on a four-yearly basis.

There have been some notable series wins for the side, although recent tours haven't been quite so successful. In 2005, the Lions headed to South Africa and lost the series 2-1 and the last time the squad visited Australia they went down to a powerful Wallaby side by the same score line.

A Full Itinerary

Warren Gatland has been named as coach of the 2013 British and Irish Lions and he will take the side on a packed schedule that includes some of the best rugby destinations and stadiums in the world.

The tour starts in Hong Kong on the 1st of June with a game against the Barbarians before the Lions head to Australia for the first of five further warm-up matches. The three tests in the series will then be held in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

It promises to be a closely fought contest but the fact that the Lions always concede home advantage could be a deciding factor. Overall, the result could be as close as those recent 2-1 score lines.

2013 offers some world-class rugby as the sevens series travels the globe. The Hong Kong leg of the tournament is arguably the most widely anticipated but the big event in 15-man rugby sees the British Lions head down under to tackle the might of Australia.

Mark Woods is a leading rugby correspondent who has spent the last twenty years writing about the game he loves. A regular at the Hong Kong Sevens, Mark has written for a series of websites and blogs throughout his journalistic career and has a particular interest in the rugby Lions.



Post a Comment