World Rugby Officially Announces La Vila International Rugby Cup with Spain, Brazil, Canada, USA
Knowledge of the tournament was already out in the public domain last week but World Rugby just announced it officially today.
Spain seem to be embracing rugby more lately, and World Rugby seems to be pushing the sun, fun, rugby theme more. Recall that Spain was the first venue announced for the “new and improved” 7s series that World Rugby rolled out, the 7s series finale will be held in Madrid in June.
Another interesting note in the World Rugby release is the standard comments from the unions at the end. I didn’t realize the Brazil rugby union had a female CEO, their first, she started in Dec 2020 and World Rugby did an interesting write up on her in 2021.
After watching the old boys network of Bombrys/Jones/Rees wreak havoc on the men’s XVs program, it might be refreshing to see Canada take a new direction at the CEO level before it’s too late. Brazil will certainly be a team to keep an eye on as a new World Cup cycle begins.
from World Rugby
Spain, USA, Canada and Brazil set to play La Vila International Rugby Cup
In partnership with the Federación Española de Rugby and World Rugby, the Spanish town of Villajoyosa is set to host home nation Spain, North American rugby giants USA and Canada and growing South American power Brazil in La Vila International Rugby Cup from 11-18 November, 2023.
Backed and funded by World Rugby, the exciting new tournament will be played at Villajoyosa’s El Pantano stadium over two match days, with USA facing Brazil and then Spain playing Canada on 11 November, with a third-place play-off and final on 18 November. Tickets for both match days are now on sale.
All four nations came close to competing at Rugby World Cup 2023 and are now ramping up preparations for the next cycle of qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2027 in Australia. USA, meanwhile, will host the 2031 showpiece in eight years.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Rugby World Cup 2023 has demonstrated how much our performance unions benefit from playing regularly, not only against the best teams in the world but also in competitive matches against each other.
“As well as broader discussions on the calendar, World Rugby is continuing to work extremely hard to create and fund opportunities like this, working with new towns and partners with the ultimate goal being to increase competitiveness across the board.”
Rugby in the winter sun
At the tournament’s unveiling the Mayor of Villajoyosa Marcos Zaragoza was joined by the Director General of the Federación Española de Rugby Miguel Ángel Martín, who promised “magnificent facilities, enviable weather and a city committed to supporting the event through its passion for sport and rugby”.
“This type of event puts us on the map,” added Mayor Zaragoza. “For fans desperate to watch more international rugby after the Rugby World Cup, or maybe for those who didn’t manage to get tickets for France 2023, we are here with four wonderful test matches. For us, this is a chance to promote our town and welcome new visitors from overseas.”
President of La Vila Rugby Club, Guillem Carrión said: “For four days in November, La Vila will be at the epicentre of world rugby, which is a matter of huge pride. It is unprecedented to host an international competition of this stature in Spain and the name of Villajoyosa will be beamed around the world.”
Match schedule (all times local CET)
(World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini)
11 November, 2023
16:00 – Match 1 – USA (18) v Brazil (26)
20:00 – Match 2 – Spain (19) v Canada (23)
18 November, 2023
16:00 – Loser Match 1 v Loser Match 2 (Third place play-off)
20:00 – Winner Match 1 v Winner Match 2 (Final)
Confederação Brasileira de Rugby CEO, Mariana Miné said: “The upcoming test matches are crucial for the development of the Tupis and Brazilian rugby. During Rugby World Cup, we are seeing the South American teams achieving great results and this encourages us to continue working hard with the aim of following in the footsteps of our neighbours. The opportunity to face other emerging teams such as the USA, Canada and Spain guarantees precious games for our long-term development, offering valuable experience for our players who need more challenging games to continue evolving.”
Rugby Canada CEO, Nathan Bombrys said: “We are greatly looking forward to sending Canada’s men’s rugby team to Spain in November. We are pleased to have two more fixtures for the team this year and know that the players are excited to be back on the pitch representing Canada. Thank you to World Rugby and the Spanish Rugby Union for their work in organising this competition.”
USA head coach Scott Lawrence said: “We’re grateful for the opportunity to spend additional time together, preparing and playing in test matches as we wrap up 2023 Project Mercury. We aimed to get the right players on board this year, and believe we have a solid core both on tour and extended through the player pool that will compete well in Spain and push positive momentum into 2024.”