09 Feb Sharks & RC Toulon confirmed for World Club 10s 2016 in Mauritius

Super Rugby and French Top 14 clubs start lining up for the second edition of the spectacular 10-a-side invitational event, as it relocates to one of the world’s most stunning holiday destinations

Jean Deysel of the Cell C Sharks (South Africa) and Carl Hayman of RC Toulon (France) pose with the World Club 10s trophy at Beachcomber’s Trou aux Biches Resort and Spa in Mauritius
Jean Deysel of the Cell C Sharks (South Africa) and Carl Hayman of RC Toulon (France) pose with the World Club 10s trophy at Beachcomber’s Trou aux Biches Resort and Spa in Mauritius

February 9, 2016: South Africa’s Cell C Sharks and reigning three-time European champions RC Toulon of France are the first two sides to confirm their participation in the 2016 World Club 10s, which will be held in the paradise destination of Mauritius on June 18-19.

The 10-a-side invitational event will again feature 8 International sides from both northern and southern hemispheres starting with two pools and leading to the winner following in the footsteps of World Cup-winning star Piri Weepu who lifted the trophy in 2014 in the inaugural tournament in Singapore.

Now relocated to the stunning holiday destination of Mauritius, the event will be held at the 16,000-capacity Anjalay Stadium, just a short drive from Port Louis, the capital of the former French colony situated off the southeast coast of mainland Africa.

Rugby clubs, universities, women’s teams and age-group sides will all be invited to compete in the various supporting competitions that will form a key part of a week-long rugby festival, culminating in the World Club 10s. All of the competition finals will be held at Anjalay on the 19th June.

The Cell C Sharks are one of South Africa’s most popular sides competing in 4 Super Rugby finals and achieving their seventh Currie Cup title in 2013. The Durban-based franchise can expect strong support in Mauritius, a popular holiday destination for South Africans.

John Smit, CEO of The Sharks and 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning Captain, said: “The Cell C Sharks are truly excited to be making our debut in the World Club 10s, especially as the tournament is held in Mauritius for the first time.

“We heard a lot of good feedback from the first tournament, but Mauritius holds a special place for many South Africans and it excites me to know that our team will be playing there for the very first time. Mauritius is one of the world’s most beautiful and exotic destinations, so it’s sure to be an amazing week for the players and all the fans who travel there.”

RC Toulon have one of the world’s most star-studded squads and will be a huge crowd-pleaser in Mauritius as they make their World Club 10s debut. The club won the European Rugby Champions Cup (formerly Heineken Cup) for a third straight time in May 2015 and currently boast many of the world’s most-recognisable players.

Head coach Bernard Laporte said: “RC Toulon are delighted to enter the World Club 10s and are looking forward to playing this fantastic tournament in Mauritius.”

Toulon’s boasts many foreign stars including South Africa icon Bryan Habana, two-time World Cup-winning All Black Ma’a Nonu, Wallabies stars Quade Cooper and Matt Giteau and Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny.

France is the biggest supplier of visitors to Mauritius so the French Top 14 side should be well-supported at the event, with fans enjoying the rugby while sampling Mauritius’ many luxury resorts, picture-perfect beaches, clear water and sunny climate.

Arnaud Martin, Chairman of Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), a strong supporter of the World Club 10s, believes hosting international sports events with a global television audience can help broadcast the country’s spectacular attractions into homes around the world.

“The Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority is proud to support and sponsor the 2016 World Club 10s, which will bring many of the world’s most famous rugby clubs and players to our country. Mauritius will provide a spectacular setting for the tournament and I know players and fans will all enjoy the warm hospitality it provides,” Martin said.

“The World Club 10s is in line with the MTPA’s strategy to promote sport tourism in Mauritius. The MTPA believes in the power of sports to reach people’s hearts and we know this great tournament and its many supporting attractions will be followed on television, where more people will see Mauritius for the first time and we hope to welcome those people to our shores to see the country for themselves.”

Kevin Venkiah, President of Rugby Union Mauritius, added: “Rugby Union Mauritius is delighted to sanction and welcome the World Club 10s, which will be the biggest international ruby tournament Mauritius has ever hosted.

“Our local rugby community will be out in full force to support the event and will also welcome and embrace the visiting players and fans, ensuring they enjoy a week to remember.”