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2022 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series schedule unveiled
World Rugby has unveiled the 2022 calendar for its Rugby Sevens Series which will consist of 10 rounds scheduled over six months.
Due to get underway with the Dubai Sevens on 26th and 27th November 2021, the Series will stay in the Arabian Gulf a week later for the second event of the season at Dubai’s Sevens Stadium on 3rd and 4th December.
The first edition will be played behind closed doors as a result of COVID-19 but fans will be able to attend the December event.
Significantly, COVID restrictions mean there will be no Series event in Japan while traditional Series hosts Sydney in Australia and Hamilton in New Zealand are also unable to host events because of their respective governments' strict coronavirus measures.
The Series will then return to Europe with two rounds in Spain in January before North American rounds in Vancouver on 26th and 27th February and Los Angeles on 5th and 6th March before moving to Asia where Hong Kong returns to host a combined men’s and women’s event from 1st to 3rd April, followed by a men’s event in Singapore on 9th and 10th April.
A women’s standalone event will take place in Langford, Canada, from 30th April to 1st May before both men’s and women’s teams travel to a new Series venue in Toulouse, France, from 20th to 22nd May where the women’s Series champions will be crowned.
The men’s Series concludes with the final event in London on 28th and 29th May.
Looking to capitalise on its highly successful and impactful Tokyo Olympic Games, the Series also features changes with the competing teams. Japan join the men’s Series as a core team following their promotion as HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series champions in 2020.
Great Britain will compete in the opening two rounds of the Series in Dubai, as part of the standing agreement to play the calendar year 2021, before reverting to compete as national unions for the remainder of the 2022 Series, with England, Scotland and Wales participating in the men’s Series and England in the women’s series.
The 16 men’s core teams after the Dubai events are Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, USA and Wales.
South Africa will enter the 2022 Series as defending champions after claiming the 2021 title in Edmonton, Canada, in September, while New Zealand, who were unable to compete in Canada, were the 2020 Series winners.
The 11 core women’s teams after the Dubai events are Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Russia, Spain and USA. New Zealand’s Black Ferns Sevens will be aiming to defend their title after being crowned champions in 2020.
World Rugby looking to exploit successful Olympics in Tokyo
The season announcement follows the sport’s highly successful second Olympic appearance in Tokyo where Fiji’s men and New Zealand’s women topped the podium in front of a huge global audience.
World Rugby’s Olympics-related social media content achieved huge impact with more than 22 million video views achieving 102 million impressions and 3.4 million public engagements from 2,400 posts across five World Rugby platforms.
The Olympics were followed by back-to-back HSBC Canada Sevens events in Vancouver and Edmonton in September which saw South Africa win the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 title, while Great Britain were victorious in the women’s Fast Four events.
World Rugby Chief Executive, Alan Gilpin stated “following an outstandingly competitive and highly impactful Olympic Games competition it is fantastic to announce a full schedule for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022.
“Alongside popular and traditional rugby sevens venues it will be exciting to take the Series to new venues in Spain and France as the game continues to expand and captivate new audiences around the world with its fast, skilful and thrilling format. Rugby sevens is a key driver of global growth for our sport, particularly in emerging nations, and it firmly remains a top priority for our organisation.
“A lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure we can announce a full Series schedule today and we thank HSBC, the host organisations, unions, commercial and broadcast partners for their unwavering support and spirit of collaboration as we navigate the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic together.
“We now look ahead to the return of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series at full throttle ahead of what promises to be a very busy and exciting year for sevens with the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town following the Series.
“As ever, the health and welfare of players, fans and wider society continues to be our primary concern and we will work closely with all stakeholders to ensure the safe delivery of the Series.”
Image: HSBC World Rugby Sevens at the Singapore National Stadium (top) and the schedule for the World Rugby Sevens Series 2022 men's and women's events (below, credit: World Rugby).
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12th May 2021 - New dates announced for Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand
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26th March 2021 - World Rugby to back Super Rugby involvement of two Pacific Island teams
19th March 2021 - World Rugby confirms Alan Gilpin in Chief Executive role
5th March 2021 - World Rugby announces plans for ‘condensed’ Sevens Series
30th June 2020 - World Rugby cancels remainder of Sevens season
17th April 2020 - World Rugby announces US$100 million global relief package
24th January 2020 - Entertainment and safety key as Hamilton readies for Rugby Sevens party
14th March 2019 - Hamilton gets extended run with World Rugby Sevens Series event
11th April 2017 - Hong Kong Sevens continues as the pinnacle of the Sevens World Series
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