The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will feature six combined men’s and women’s tournaments from 2019 to 2023, with the women’s series increasing to eight rounds for the first time over the next four-year cycle.
Cape Town; Hamilton, New Zealand; Sydney; Hong Kong and Paris will host the combined tournaments in the new-look series.
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 standalone event next season. The 2018-2019 women’s series also featured Dubai; Sydney; Kitakyushu, Japan; and Biarritz, as a standalone tournament, as host cities.
In addition, nine out of 10 host locations for the next four-year cycle of the men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series have also been confirmed. Dubai, Cape Town, Hamilton, Sydney, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Paris have been confirmed as host cities, with the location in the U.S. to be confirmed later this year.
Defending World Series champion South Africa bagged the Canada Sevens on Sunday in Vancouver, beating France 21-12 to take the trophy.
“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, as Cape Town, Hamilton and Hong Kong welcome women’s world series teams for the first time from next season,” World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said in a press release.
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“We are 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.
“For the men’s series, the selected hosts represent a consistent balance of long-established and newer venues, with the five host unions who joined in 2015 retaining their host status.
The Blitzboks picked up their first series win of the season with a 21-12 victory over France at the Canada Sevens in Vancouver.
“Since the men’s series’ expansion to 10 rounds in 2015, we have seen the competition become increasingly competitive on the pitch from a team perspective while also continuing to grow in popularity among global audiences. We are looking forward to seeing continued growth and evolution of the world series in each territory over the next four years.”
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SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux welcomed the decision to stage a combined tournament in Cape Town, which replaced Port Elizabeth as a host city of a men’s tournament at the beginning of the current four-year cycle in 2015.
“This is a wonderful addition to the already very successful HSBC Cape Town Sevens, and a massive boost for women’s rugby in South Africa,” Roux said in a statement. The 2019-20 series will also lead into the Olympic tournament in Japan, which will take place from Jul. 27 to Aug. 1.