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Sevens gets four-year schedule

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World Rugby's new sevens four-year schedule contains one interesting development

World Rugby has announced a new look men’s and women’s World Rugby Sevens Series which includes at least six combined men’s and women’s events, as the women’s series increases to eight rounds for the first time in its history over the next four-year cycle.

Dubai, Cape Town, New Zealand, Sydney, Hong Kong and Paris will host combined men’s and women’s sevens events from next season onwards as part of the next four-year world series hosting cycle.

In the women’s series, the USA Women’s Sevens will again be hosted in Glendale, Colorado, with Langford, British Columbia, also remaining as a stand-alone event next season.

In addition, nine out of 10 host locations for the next four-year cycle of the men’s World Rugby Sevens Series 2019-23 have also been confirmed.

As popularity and profile of rugby sevens continues to grow both on and off the field, boosted by Olympic inclusion, World Rugby saw unprecedented global interest, receiving more than 20 expressions of interest from member unions, as part of the highly competitive tender process.

(Continue reading below…)

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Nine existing men’s world series destinations – Dubai, Cape Town, Hamilton, Sydney, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Paris – are set to feature again as part of the next four-year cycle, with the host location in the USA to be confirmed at a later stage in the season.

Player welfare and travel blocks continue to be an important component of the tender considerations alongside delivery of high-performance facilities and overall ability to contribute to the key strategic growth of the series.

The Dubai Sevens, which has featured as a host venue since the inaugural series in 1999-2000 and a combined event since 2012, remains linked with Cape Town, a new combined men’s and women’s event, which has seen phenomenal success as a host venue since relocating from Port Elizabeth at the beginning of the last four-year cycle in 2015.

Hamilton, the newest venue on the men’s series having hosted its inaugural event in 2018, becomes a new combined event for both men’s and women’s teams. Sydney and Vancouver, both newcomers to the men’s series calendar having been appointed in 2015, also retain their host venue status, with Sydney continuing as a combined event.

In Asia, seasoned world series hosts Hong Kong expands to a combined series round and will again be linked with Singapore, which remains a men’s stand-alone round that earned host venue rights as part of the competition’s expansion in 2015.

Fiji Sevens squad in huddle (Photo by Jason O’Brien/Getty Images)

London and Paris are also confirmed as the European hosts for the next four years, with Paris set to again host both men’s and women’s series from next season onwards.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “This is an exciting time for sevens as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is set to break new ground with more combined rounds than ever before on the circuit from next season.

“We’re delighted to see the women’s series expand to eight rounds over the next four-year cycle, an historic move that will provide more high quality competitive international playing opportunities for women’s sevens teams, a core strand of our Accelerating the Global Development of Women in Rugby plan.”

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World Rugby's new sevens four-year schedule contains one interesting development