Making the announcement in the Kiln in Heineken Ireland, Tomas O Brien, Tournament Director, commented "We are delighted to announce that this is gearing up to be the biggest ever Heineken Kinsale 7's since it began 19 years ago. The number of entries to date confirms our position as the premiere Sevens rugby event in the Northern Hemisphere. The Irish Rugby Sevens summer fest will happen once again in the beautiful town of Kinsale and the economical benefits it brings are very much appreciated by the club and town."
The Heineken Kinsale Sevens, with its maritime setting above Kinsale Harbour and Oysterhaven Estuary, offers a unique location for the best of fast action running rugby in Veterans, Senior Men's, Senior Women's and Junior Men's categories. The teams will compete in over 200 games for an increased prize fund of €22,000.
Pat Maher, National Events & Sponsorship Manager, Heineken Ireland said: "Following the 2006 Sevens, possibly the best ever tournament, we are all working to make 2007 an even better experience for players and visitors alike.Kinsale RFC and Heineken are gearing up to a major celebration of 7 aside rugby excellence. This format of 7's is gaining stature and recognition in all rugby playing nations for its development of the skills required in the modern game. The Event is increasingly important to Kinsale and Cork, generating a turnover in the region of €6 million over the May Bank Holiday weekend, with many first time visitors returning again with family and friends, thus bringing added tourism value."
Philip Stokes, Team Entries Director reported that 94 teams have booked their places for 2007. The Junior and Ladies sections are now full but there is a waiting list in operation. As in other years there is a strong level of interest from Irish and overseas sides, including the Marauders from the UK, the Suzie Exiles from Amsterdam and Kooga Wailers from Fiji who are returning to defend their title. This team is an international invitation side, sourcing players from English and Welsh premiership sides as well as from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa Super 12 and NPC sides. Nearer home, the women's teams continue to return to the tournament and this year the Clonakility ladies are looking to make it three in a row.
At the launch, Tomas O Brien, Tournament Director thanked all the sponsors supporting the event including title sponsor, Heineken and associate sponsors OB Sport and Chris Kay Ltd. He also thanked members, neighbours and friends for their respective contributions. The charity of choice for the tournament this year will be the Kinsale Trawler Tragedy Fund.
Look out for more details on the participating teams and players and entertainment on www.kinsalesevens.com