Estádio Algarve hosts best European rugby teams in World Cup qualifying competition

This Friday and Saturday (20th and 21st of July) history will be made at the Estádio Algarve. For the first time since […]

This Friday and Saturday (20th and 21st of July) history will be made at the Estádio Algarve. For the first time since its inauguration, in 2003, the Stadium will host a rugby event – ​​the Algarve Sevens, a European qualifying event for the World Cup, which takes place in 2013, in Russia.

The competition was presented this Tuesday morning on the main pitch, by the heads of the Portuguese Rugby Federation and the mayors of Loulé and Faro.

The many tourists that are in the region at this time of year, the excellent conditions of the venue, the presence of the national team, the emotion that is expected in the dispute of the games, and the party that is expected on and off the field are some of the ingredients so that this show will have a strong support from the public.

In the sports component, it will be a close fight for the five open places for the 2013 World Cup. Among the 12 participating nations – Portugal, Spain, France, Georgia, Scotland, Italy, Ukraine, Netherlands, Germany, Romania, Belgium and Lithuania – the technical director of the Portuguese Rugby Team, Tomaz Morais, immediately highlights the “Lobos” team as one of the favorites to qualify.

“They are runners-up in Europe with a title won 15 days ago, and they already have a sevens game culture, enviable even in other countries. In the circuits we participate, world and European, we have always been at a good level. We know that we are going to compete, to the point, with the best teams that are here”, explained the manager.

France, Spain or Scotland, the latter with a strong tradition in the sport, are also pointed out as the great favourites. But Tomaz Morais does not exclude outsiders in this competition, with emphasis on Georgia, Romania or Ukraine, the surprise of this year's European circuit.

The five qualifiers in the Algarve Sevens will join England, Wales and Russia (organising country) as European representatives at the 2013 World Cup.

But if rugby still has little tradition in our country, in terms of sevens the team has made history with excellent results, which is why Tomaz Morais believes that this will be an asset for this event.

“We wanted to bring this tournament for the Portuguese to see a team that has won a lot all over the world. It was an old dream to host a competition like this and have the opportunity to play at home. I think this will be a spectacle that adapts to the times we are living and what the Portuguese need, which is to forget about everyday problems”, said the former player. .

For the Federation's vice-president, Trigo Moraes, expectations regarding the presence of the public pass through 5 spectators on each day of the competition.

In this family party, outdoor entertainment is planned, in a square with inflatables, and inside entertainment, music and some surprises.

The presidents of the two municipalities responsible for the Algarve Stadium, on the other hand, underline the importance of tourism, together with the use of the Stadium, which this event closes.

“History is being made at the Algarve Stadium, in a sport that does not have the expression in our country that it has in other countries, particularly countries that are emitters of the quality tourism that we have here – England, Scotland or Germany, in which rugby has a very great importance”, stressed Seruca Emídio, president of the Autarchy of Loulé.

Regarding the Algarve Stadium, the mayor of Loulé underlined the fact that it was a “national stadium, open to all sports, with virtually no cost to users”.

“For us, it is a pleasure to diversify the use of the Stadium, at a time when, despite being high season, it is important to find complementary occupations of sun and beach. Culture and sport are important for tourists who come here”, said Seruca Emídio.

Macário Correia, responsible for Faro, said that it is “a pleasure for the Algarve, in this summer period, to be a media stage for the entire country”.

“Here in the central area we have the privilege of having the great events that the world witnesses but here they happen”, he stressed.

Tickets for the Algarve Sevens cost 5 euros (daily) and 7,5 euros (two days).

Until the 20th of July, tickets for the Algarve Sevens are on sale at the following locations: Lisbon – Portuguese Rugby Federation, between 15 pm and 00 pm (There is no ATM!); Loulé – Quinta do Lago, Quinta Shopping, Bar Cubo, from 19:00 am to 10:00 am; Faro – Forum Algarve, from 10:00 am to 00:00 am; Albufeira – Algarve Shopping (Guia), from 10:00 to 00:00.
On the 19th (from 14:00 pm to 19:00 pm), on the 20th (from 15:00 pm to 21:00 pm) and on the 21st (from 15:00 pm to 21:00 pm) of July, tickets can also be purchased at the ticket office at Estádio Algarve

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Rugby Clube de Loulé is an example for the rest of the Algarve


With 30 years of existence, the Rugby Clube de Loulé has been the only promoter of the sport in the region. But the federative officials want this situation to be reversed and for the sport to gain ground in the Algarve, especially among younger people.

“RCL has made a huge effort throughout its history, but the fact that it is isolated from the rest of the other teams and has to travel at least 200 kms to play, impedes its development and prevents the team from being in a a level that it could have already reached and that at the moment it cannot be”, stressed the Federation's technical director.

Thus, the big bet will go through the sevens aspect, not least because it is a game "easier to understand and with a very simple logic" which, according to Tomaz Morais, could be very captivating for young people in the Algarve and for the parents themselves who seek occupations for their children with strong values ​​and, in this case, rules and respect are part of the modality.

The vice-president of the Federation referred to the need to find “critical mass” in the region and, in this sense, the Algarve Sevens could be important.

At the moment, the federative services have a regional development director, Faustino Pires, who has done a creditable job with the schools. Also because, in certain cities in the Algarve, such as Lagos, there is strong interest from young people, but the answers are still limited to the city of Loulé.