Sport
Juan Ramos in action for Spain rugby

Spain out to secure place in HSBC SVNS World Series on home soil

Spain’s men’s rugby sevens team have enjoyed an historic season and will now look to secure their place in the HSBC SVNS World Series on home soil.

Captained by Juan Ramos, the Spanish made it to a semi-final for the first time, in Los Angeles in March, finishing the season in tenth place.

That leaves them in the relegation spots for the HSBC SVNS Grand Final in Madrid, with the sides ranked 9th to 12th in the overall standings battling to remain on the main circuit against the top four teams from the Challenger circuit.

And after a campaign that has seen Spain regularly challenge the world’s best, including beating sevens heavyweights Fiji, Ramos is hopeful that home support can drive them to avoid relegation.

He said: “For us, it’s an opportunity to stay in the World Series but it’s also a chance for the country’s sporting landscape to see how hard we work, the level at which we play and a chance for our friends and families to see us up close and see what we are dedicating ourselves to.

“This season, we have finished in the bottom four, but it’s the season where we have challenged the best teams the most, we were much more competitive than in previous seasons, we’ve reached the quarter-finals multiple times, and we got our best-ever result in Los Angeles. We have shown the path we are on year-on-year and showing the sevens project in Spain.

“To avoid relegation, the most important will be to remember that we have competed against the best teams all year so we shouldn’t be nervous against the teams in Madrid.”

Ramos, who comes from Valladolid, will have plenty of friends and family coming to cheer him on.

And it is a similar scenario for Spain women’s skipper Amaia Erbina, who will play alongside sister Lide, while friends and family from her home town, Ordizia, will attend the Metropolitano Stadium.

Spain’s women have struggled this season, finishing in 12th, and Erbina admits they will have to work hard to avoid relegation.

She said: “It’s a very special series. It’s the first time that we’re going to have all the people from Spain coming to support us. The tournaments we play abroad are really huge. For us, playing at home with all our supporters there to cheer us on for the first time, it’s really special. In my case, I’ve been playing on the World Series for eight years and it will be the first time that all my friends, family and people who know me, will be able to come and watch me play.

“It’s going to be tough, and we know that. There’s a lot of pressure on us to have a good tournament, to stay in the World Series next year. Mentally, we have been working on that aspect in pre-season and every day we are trying to visualise ourselves in these situations. I think we are prepared; we are doing a lot of video analysis so I think it will be fine.

“It’s been really tough this season. It’s been our toughest year; the teams are more and more prepared physically and technically on the rugby side. It feels like we are not progressing as much. We don’t have that many girls coming through which is not great for us. That is why we are suffering a lot and this year the results have not been good enough. But we have to keep working and I think if we can stay in the World Series next year, we’ll have more time to improve and become competitive.”

It’s Grand Final weekend in the heart of Madrid, featuring thrilling rugby matches and immersive cultural experiences. From the excitement on the pitch to the buzz in the air, this is one event you won’t want to miss. Be part of history in the making at the iconic Civitas Metropolitano Stadium.

Featured Image Credit: AAPImage via Reuters Connect via Beat Media Group subscription

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