A much-needed 7s boost has just been revealed. And the World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 version is just the adrenaline injection that aims to kickstart a paused International calendar.
Sitting idle since March 2020, all sides who comprised the last HSBC Sevens Series will have an opportunity to once again play on the world’s stage.
Given the unique circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 global pandemic, together with the spectacle of the Olympic Games in July, World Rugby has worked closely together with partners, host organizations, and participating unions to agree on a compact and highly impactful Sevens Series in 2021.
The condensed 2021 Series schedule includes five women’s and four men’s rounds, with the addition of a further two potential men’s events under discussion.
World Rugby Sevens Series 2021
World Rugby Interim Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “Today’s announcement of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 schedule marks a significant and exciting moment for rugby seven’s re-emergence from the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic and we thank HSBC and all Series partners for their unwavering support, and host organizations and participating unions for their hard work, patience, and spirit of collaboration.
“As a key driver of game growth, particularly in emerging markets, the continued success of rugby sevens and the Sevens Series is a strategic priority for World Rugby and our US$4 million funding to support sevens programs is a clear demonstration of our commitment.
It will see the 2021 Series kick off with back-to-back women’s events in Marcoussis, Paris on May 15-16. The Series will then take a break for the countdown to the Olympic Games, before resuming with multiple men’s and women’s tournaments that lead toward a bright future for the popular sport.
Five women’s and four men’s rounds scheduled in HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021
Hong Kong, Dubai, and Cape Town to host joint men’s and women’s events
Series kicks off with back-to-back women’s rounds in Paris on 15-16 and 22-23 May
Discussions continuing towards the addition of men’s events in London and Vancouver
World Rugby providing US$4 million funding for rugby sevens programs and high-performance preparation events ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
What is a priority for the participating sides, and for the stakeholders in 2021, is player welfare. The health and wellbeing of players, fans engagement with it, and the wider communities’ ability to enjoy each weekend of the new calendar. Those ideals remain a top priority for World Rugby, and the host organizations will work closely with the relevant national governments and health agencies to ensure the safe and secure delivery of the events.
Given the unique and unprecedented nature of the global COVID-19 pandemic and its various international travel restrictions and quarantine measures, it is accepted that some teams may not be able to travel or participate in all 2021 Series events. Where possible, World Rugby will invite replacement teams to fill the places of any core Series team unable to participate in a Series event.
The Fijian men’s team are strong candidates to be invited, as are New Zealand, the United States, and a range of star-filled squads. The final make-up will be known closer to the beginning of each tournament; with the Olympics (and qualification) the priority for every nation at this poit.
All the plans unveiled are a much-needed boost for the game. One that has been dormant for too long. This announcement will offer something for a number of sides – in a year where the security of the Tokyo Olympics is still to be affirmed. What a boost having this announced now, to give fans more to look forward to in the near term.
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