As excitement continues to build towards the Olympic rugby sevens tournament in Tokyo later this month, World Rugby has today announced an updated schedule for the highly anticipated return of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021.
The updated Series, which builds on the initially announced schedule in March, sees six men’s and four women’s rounds planned to take place in the final four months of the year.
The 2021 Series is now scheduled to kick off with a pair of men’s events in Canada, with the traditional HSBC Canada Sevens venue of BC Place in Vancouver hosting teams on 18-19 September, followed by Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on 25-26 September.
Advanced discussions are ongoing towards hosting a women’s event in Paris following the postponement of the previously scheduled event at Marcoussis in May due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
The health and wellbeing of players, fans and the wider community remains top priority and both World Rugby and the host organisations will work closely with the relevant national governments and health agencies to ensure the safe and secure delivery of the events.
World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “The next six months are an exciting time for rugby sevens’ re-emergence as the Olympic Games are followed by today’s updated HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series schedule of events.
“We sincerely thank HSBC and all partners, hosts and participating teams for their continued commitment, support and spirit of teamwork as we navigate the incredibly complex circumstances relating to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“On-going work continues with all respective governments, health agencies, stakeholders and partners to ensure the events meet relevant COVID-19 requirements as the health and wellbeing of players, fans and all involved remains paramount.
“The inclusion of rugby sevens for the first time in the Olympic Games at Rio 2016 attracted an estimated 30 million new fans globally and the 2021 Series presents us with a great opportunity to build on the positive effects of competing on the Olympic stage and engaging new fans with the sport.
“We are all looking forward with great enthusiasm to seeing the fast-paced, action-packed nature of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series back in action, bringing much needed joy and excitement to fans around the globe.”
Rugby Canada CEO Allen Vansen said, “On behalf of Rugby Canada, I thank World Rugby for these opportunities to bring the spirit of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series back to Vancouver and introducing it to another Canadian host city. Hosting Series events across two different Provinces, combined with the return of our community game in most regions, is so encouraging for rugby and sport in Canada.”
The squad of match officials that will take charge of fixtures in the men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 has also been confirmed today.
Following detailed discussions between the RFU and World Rugby, the HSBC London Sevens tournament will not take place in 2021. Planning is already underway for the 2022 HSBC London Sevens, which will be the 20th edition of the tournament.
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022 schedule will be announced in due course following the Olympic Games in what is set to be a very busy and exciting year for rugby sevens with the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England on 29-31 July, and Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa on 9-11 September.
With its dynamic, high octane style, rugby sevens is expected to be one of the most highly anticipated events of the Tokyo Games. The Olympic competition, which will take place on 26-31 July 2021 at Tokyo Stadium, follows the outstanding success of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, which captured the nation’s imagination with record-breaking broadcast audiences and huge numbers of new rugby fans across Japan and Asia.