Rugby showpiece heads to Bay again


It’s the final year of the Cell C International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens in Nelson Mandela Bay and the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is calling on all fans to get ready for a final party bar none.

“But don’t expect the party is over quite yet,” said Stadium chief executive, Chantal Du Pisani. “We are part of an EP Rugby initiative, together with various other stakeholders, working tirelessly to retain this awesome event in our city for the next three years. Your support is part of that, so come out and enjoy what is dubbed ‘rock star’ rugby – in this fun, fast-paced showcase of global rugby talent.”

The countdown for the Cell C Mandela Sevens in the Bay began earlier this month when the event was launched at the stadium by the South African Rugby Union.

The South African leg of the IRB Sevens will be played on December 13 and 14 at the stadium and fans can look forward to non-stop, high energy riveting rugby action.

“The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is more than ready to open its doors and welcome the world’s best sevens rugby players,” said Du Pisani.

The Sevens tops off a year of rugby prowess, the highlight of which was a high scrum and impact International Test match between the Bokke and Scotland; and an eventful the Currie Cup Premier Division season.

With rugby fever at an all-time high off the back of the Currie Cup season – and a win for the EP Kings in their final match – the Sevens is likely to draw big crowds.

“Fans shouldn’t wait until the last minute to purchase tickets to this international showpiece. We are fervently working behind the scenes to offer spectators value for money and an unforgettable event experience,” added Du Pisani.

Tickets for the event remain affordable and fans are able to enjoy the Sevens bonanza from as little as R30.

“There are great hospitality packages on offer as well. Suites are available to all businesses and groups interested in experiencing rugby at its best in a world-class environment,” said Du Pisani.

The Sevens is an adaptation of a regular rugby game into a quick and exciting seven minutes played by seven-man teams.

“There is little time to get bored and it’s all about the fun, vibe and dressing up. It’s also a celebration of a great year of intense and exciting rugby – we urge fans to come and have a good time,” Charl Crous, Eastern Province Rugby Union Chief Executive said.

“Last year’s match produced a thrilling cup final between the Blitzbokke and New Zealand, leaving the Blitzbokke fans jubilant after a dramatic win against the Kiwis. This year can only be better,” added Crous.

Besides the rugby action, there is an entertainment line-up of note, with a beer garden, fan-park, best-dressed competitions and numerous prize giveaways planned. Fans can expect entertainment from household names such as DJ Fresh, Micasa and Cape Town-based, DJ Sox who made his debut at the 2013 Sevens tournament.

Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) Chief Executive, Mandlakazi Skefile, an enthusiastic Sevens supporter, was also quick to allay fears doing the rounds that all the accommodation in the city has already been booked for the Sevens.

“Our hotels and guest houses are certainly smiling from ear to ear but ‘the inn is not full yet’ and our friendly call centre staff are on standby to assist you with last minute accommodation queries,” she said encouraging visitors to dial the NMBT call centre. “If there is a bed out there – we will find it for you.”

Spectators can also explore Nelson Mandela Bay beyond the rugby field by visiting the NMBT website: for more information.

NMBT Call Centre on 041 582 2575 during office hours or Airport Visitors Information Centre 041 581 0456 open from 7am till 9pm daily. 


CAPTION: SEVENS DELIGHT: South African Sevens stars are feeling the fever ahead of the South African leg of the Cell C International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens World Series in Nelson Mandela Bay on 13 and 14 December at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, pictured here (L-R) are Frankie Horne, Cecil Afrika, Phillip Snyman and Branco du Plessis.