12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
Saint Basil's Cathedral and the rest of the magnificent Red Square provided the backdrop for the event launch, and a symbolic reminder of just how far Sevens has come in breaking new frontiers and reaching out to new audiences over a few short years.
"The hosting of Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow marks a significant milestone in the ongoing growth of rugby here in Russia and around the world," said IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper.
"For the IRB and for the Rugby Union of Russia, it is the opportunity to break new frontiers and reach out and engage new audiences, new players, new nations that makes Russia so appealing."
Four years ago, the World Cup Sevens tournament in Dubai paved the way for the sport's Olympic return and notably featured the first ever tournament for the Women's game, won by Australia.
"Winning in 2009 is something that I will never forget," said the Wallaroos' sole survivor from four years ago, Rebecca Tavo.
"It provided an incredible boost to the profile of Women's rugby and Women's team sport in Australia. It put us on the map.
"We are looking forward to the opportunity of defending our title in Moscow, but it will be tough. All the teams have improved. Standards have increased greatly. We have some fantastic young talent in our squad and I am impressed with their skill level."
The Wales men's team started the 2009 tournament as 80/1 rank outsiders, but on the final day defeated both New Zealand and Samoa en route to a maiden title.
"We are looking forward to the Rugby World Cup Sevens here in Moscow," said Lee Williams, the only player in the current squad to have won that title with head coach Paul John four years ago.
"The experience so far has been great and we've been working hard. 2009 was great for us and hopefully we can retain the World Cup this year."
The landmark 2013 tournament will be supported by a giant festival of rugby, music and culture with over 2,000 children from all over Russia taking part in competitions at the Luzhniki Complex.
Meanwhile, Ireland's Lynne Cantwell, Alison Miller and Ashleigh Baxter will host a live Q&A session at 6pm Irish time tomorrow (Thursday) on the IRB Women's Rugby Twitter account @irbwomens.
Please use the hashtag #askGIG to pose your question for the girls. The best question will win an Ireland jersey signed by the Irish Women's Sevens squad!
Related Links -
|RWC 2011 Pool C|