With all of the Sevens big guns (Fiji, NZ, England, South Africa, Samoa) slugging it out this weekend like Super Heavyweights sponsored by Ferrari, it’s easy to forget there have been some other big stories going on at the IRB Hong Kong Sevens. And we don’t mean the lack of streakers.
The Spanish national rugby 7s side notched up a golden moment in its history by qualifying for the World Tour in 2013. Spanish sports have been going through somewhat of a purple patch of late. Think football, tennis, formula 1 (need I go on): this rugby 7s success could not have come at a better time, given that the sport is going to be included in the Olymics in 4 years time in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Spain will now be plying their trade against the likes of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Samoa and England during the ten series that make up the Sevens World Tour. Good practice hombres!
The Spanish 7s team was led by José Ignacio Inchausti and had a great tournament. They beat Zimbabwe and the Philippines in the first two games of the group stage and qualified for the quarterfinals.
Canada beat them in the QF stage, setting up a crunch with big hitters Tonga. Spain kicked up a gear for that match: Cesar Sempere, Pablo Feijoo and Carlos Blanco in particular played well.
Spain sealed their classification against Japan in the semifinals. Good effort! We’ve always thought that this country was a “sleeping giant” of rugby. Catalonia and the Basque Country are close to the power houses of French rugby (Toulouse, Perpignan, Toulon, Biarritz etc) and there are alot of Argentinians who have settled in the country. Many of them love their rugby. And the Spanish are very, very good at their sport. You don’t thibk the Spanish are up for the rough and tumble of sevens rugby? Try running with the bulls in Pamplona the next time you are in the Iberian Peninsular.
Hey, did you know that FC Barcelona have a rugby team? Yup. Toulouse: be afraid, be very afraid. fcbrugby.com.
By the way, I am sure that Carlos Puyol was playing for the 7s side in Hong Kong. Considering his day job is playing at the back for Barcelona with a round ball, his rugby skills were pretty impressive. #impresionante.
Congratulations and felicidades to the Spanish 7s squad: Ignacio Martin, Pablo Feijoo, Mark Poggi, Peter Martin, Carlos Blanco, Matias Tudela, Cesar Sempere, Ryan LeRoux, Javier Canosa, Juan Cano, Angel Lopez, Martin Heredia, José Ignacio Inchausti (coach) and Fernando Díez (coach)