The sad impact of the pandemic has seen the 2021 HSBC Sevens Series dates rescheduled, with Hong Kong 7s canceled.
“While it is obviously very disappointing not to be able to go ahead with two of our planned Sevens Series events in Hong Kong and Paris in 2021, the decisions have been taken with the health and wellbeing of the rugby community and the wider public as a top priority, and following extensive consultation with the host organizations, participating unions, and relevant government bodies”, said World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin.
The altered dates now see the annual Championship reduced to five men’s and two women’s events in 2021. While short, it is at least competition for the men and women to plan ahead. World Rugby would have been disappointed with the tournaments that have had to be canceled, especially as Hong Kong is often seen as the emotional home [mecca] for rugby sevens. Paris too was an important fixture, as the city prepares for the next Rugby World Cup and the next Olympic Games.
Good news has, however, demonstrated a strong schedule remains when rugby sevens return.
2021 HSBC Sevens Series dates rescheduled
That includes the HSBC Sevens Series action on September 18-19 at BC Place in Vancouver hosting the first event of the 2021 Series, which sees a men’s Series event combined with a women’s fast-four tournament*.
The following weekend, September 25-26, the teams will switch venues in Canada to compete again at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, which will host an HSBC World Rugby event for the first time.
After that, the series heads to Singapore, and the season concludes in December, with the regular Dubai/Cape Town swing events over two weekends. The Sevens Stadium in Dubai will again wish to fill their venue with inbound 7s tourists, and to bring the party back to the Middle East hub.
We cannot wait to welcome everyone back to the desert for a BIGGER, BETTER BOLDER Dubai 7s in December!
But…. who are you most looking forward to seeing on pitch 1?#Dubai7s #7sWillReturn pic.twitter.com/E88Z9ixlcs
— Emirates Dubai 7s (@Dubai7s) August 18, 2021
Included in the points detailed in the World Rugby media release were:
- The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens will not take place in November 2021 due to Covid-19 impacts, however, the popular event will return to the Series on 1-3 April 2022
- The HSBC Paris Sevens women’s event, originally scheduled for May, will also not take place in 2021, meaning a total of five men’s and two women’s rounds are planned to take place in the final four months of 2021
Gilpin also stated, “The future of rugby sevens is very bright and players, teams and fans can look ahead to a very busy and exciting year in 2022 when the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will be followed by Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England”.
* the invited teams for the scheduled Women’s fast-four tournaments in Vancouver and Edmonton are to be confirmed. Dependent on travel restrictions, fans will hope that the Canadian women can avenge their poor display in Tokyo, where they finished a poor ninth after several poor results.
If the Gold medal-winning New Zealand side can get authorization to travel, that would be more opportunities for sevens fans to see the Champion side. Last Word on Rugby will confirm the invited sides, as soon as the information is available.
The hope is that 2021 will again demonstrate how crucial the 2021 HSBC Sevens Series is to build on the enjoyment sports fans from around the world felt when watching the sevens game at the Tokyo Olympics.
“Main image graphic courtesy of World Rugby”