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Fiji Time: 4:49 AM on Wednesday 30 July

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USA 7s event growing

Seb Lauzier Of Irb
Thursday, January 23, 2014

Seb Lauzier interviews the teams for broadcast after every match of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

So all the teams have now arrived here in Las Vegas and are busy putting in their final preparations ahead of this weekend's USA Sevens, round four of the series.

It's fascinatingly poised after three rounds with three different Cup winners and New Zealand leading South Africa by only two points.

Out on the training pitches it's an event like any other and, apart from the narrow pitch at the Sam Boyd, it will unroll like any other World Series event, with an American flavour.

But even after four years here amid the famous bright lights, it does all still seem a bit surreal. Yesterday I ate something called a "Lobsticle", while French players took pictures of themselves in front of the Eiffel tower, just down from the "Miracle Mile" mall.

It may not be "rugby as we know it" but one thing is certain: when the NBC trucks roll into the Sam Boyd Stadium on Friday — the same ones that broadcast Sunday Night Football here in the States — they will mean business. And Sevens being here in Las Vegas means that the game, and its youthful international fanbase, presents a compelling case for the kind of hard-nosed businessmen who run this incredible city. And that has to be a glowing endorsement for Rugby Sevens and all that goes with it.

Let us remember, this is not an established rugby market and yet the organisers are hopeful of another record crowd this weekend.

USA Rugby is doing great things to grow the game, and its profile, across this vast land mass and it is a slow and steady process.

The fact that this USA Sevens event is growing at such a rate looks then to be a bit of an anomaly, but shows the appetite out there for elite rugby if you stage and present it in the right way.


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