City's Scotstoun Stadium set to hold World Series festival

SCOTSTOUN Stadium will be transformed into a carnival of sevens rugby when the World Series takes over the whole of the Scotstoun compound which will be fitted with additional stands to cope with the expected crowds.

As well as the main arena where the world's best players will showcase their talents, there will be eateries and bars next to the main stand, an autograph mixed zone next to the teams area and bands, dancers and face painters along with tons of other entertainment.

Glasgow securing the event, which has been held at Murrayfield in Edinburgh in recent years, is a major coup for the city. The sevens circuit includes Las Vegas, South Africa, Australia, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

More than 200million people around the world watch the series.

The two-day festival guarantees a real party atmosphere as the sevens is all about fancy dress and colourful, noisy fans.

Scotstoun will host the sevens for at least the next three years, building up to the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

The move from Edinburgh was made to support the Glasgow 2014 effort and help build a legacy for rugby in the west of Scotland.

Chris Fusaro, 22, is a flanker with Glasgow Warriors – who will also be based at Scotstoun from next season – and was a Scotland sevens player before setting out on his professional 15-a-side career.

He said: "Obviously, there is only seven players per team so there is a lot more room on the pitch and the game is only 14 minutes long, seven minutes each half, so it is a bit more tiring than playing 15s because there is a lot more running about.

"It is a showcase game to show off your skills.

"It is like a shop window so you can show off your skills and it is televised worldwide, like the Hong Kong Sevens that has just been on.

"It will definitely raise the profile of rugby in Glasgow.

"The Commonwealth Games is coming to Glasgow in 2014 and then rugby will be in the Olympics so the more and more we can expose it the better it is going to be for game."

Chris also hopes the sevens being in the city will attract more supporters to Warriors games in the future.

He said: "The Warriors are moving to Scotstoun next year, that is where we are going to be playing full time so if we get all the fans along to see what it is all about it will be good for next season."

There are 16 teams taking part at Scotstoun, including the recently announced invitational teams from Spain, Portugal, Russia and Zimbabwe.

They will be joined by Argentina, Australia, England, Fiji, France, Kenya, New Zealand, Samoa, South Africa, United States, Wales and of course Scotland.

Dominic McKay, director of communications at Scottish Rugby, said: "We've been working extremely hard with our partners at Glasgow Life, Event Scotland and the Scottish Government to put together the best event we can for Scotstoun Stadium.

He continued: "What we'll have is a sevens festival in the best traditions of Scottish sevens tournaments.

"By adding three additional stands to Scotstoun we'll have the supporters right on the side of the pitch, in the heart of the action and it will be an incredible atmosphere inside the main arena."

HE added: "There will be something for everyone, we'll have the Festival stand for families as well as the Party Stand.

"There's no doubt it was a big challenge to take an event of this magnitude away from Murrayfield and move it along the M8 but we have no doubt the Glasgow fans will give us tremendous support."

Graham Shiel, Scotland sevens head coach, said: "We get a lot of support wherever we play but to get a full house at Scotstoun will be a great motivation for us to up our game and give the crowd something to shout about."

Tickets cost £15 per day and all concessions are half price. Full details are available at

SCOTSTOUN Stadium will be transformed when uprights are put in place and a volley of rugby balls are thrown across the pitch. Around 30,000 fans are expected to descend as the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens, part of the HSBC Sevens World Series, is staged on May 5-8. Stef Lach and Matty Sutton got to grips with the oval ball

Youngsters get chance to shine

LEGACY is an important part of the HSBC Sevens World Series – and the Festival of Rugby held alongside the tournament will give local youngsters the chance to shine.

This year the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s will give teams from throughout the west of Scot- land the opportunity to compete alongside the best sevens teams on the planet.

The Festival of Rugby will involve around 1000 young people and almost 200 coaches. There will be an under-18 competition for boys and girls, under-15 girls, S2 boys and Primary 7 tag tournaments.

The top two teams from the under-18 tournament will play the final on Saturday afternoon in front of an expected crowd of 15,000.

Sixteen teams in the under-18 boys' competition from clubs and schools in the west of Scotland will compete on the Festival of Rugby pitch on Saturday, May 5, in a straight knockout competition with the final being played on the main pitch.

And the following day, 16 teams of under-18 and under-15 girls will play a knockout competition following a midis tournament in the morning.

While international teams take a breather, the young teams will be given the chance to step into their boots.

Helping launch the Festival of Rugby were the youth teams at West of Scotland FC who have already committed to bringing three bus loads to one of the biggest weekends in the sporting calendar.

Neil McCallum, from West of Scotland FC, said: "It's fantastic for the west of Scotland to have something like the Glasgow 7s right on our doorstep."