World Rugby's new sevens four-year schedule contains one interesting development

Aubrey Yates
March 15, 2019

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.

The Republic was among nine confirmed venues - the others are Dubai, Cape Town, Hamilton, Sydney, Vancouver, Hong Kong, London and Paris - to secure the hosting rights for the men's competition for the next four-year cycle. The outlier is the US, with reports circulating that United World Sports has been considering moving the U.S. 7s from Las Vegas, this announcement adds a bit of fuel to that fire.

The 2020 New Zealand Sevens will be one of six combined men's and women's events next season along with Dubai, Cape Town, Sydney, Hong Kong and Paris, as the women's game takes another leap forward on the global stage.

Singapore has hosted a World Rugby Seven series leg in 2002, from 2004 to 2006, and from 2016 to this year. Nielsen research recorded a 39-per-cent increase in live broadcast audiences across both men's and women's series, from 9 million in 2017 to 12.6 million viewers in 2018.

Existing tournaments in Vancouver, Singapore and London will remain as standalone events on the men's circuit, while the U.S. and Canada Women's Sevens will also continue in Glendale, Colorado and Langford, British Columbia.

New Zealand and Fiji have a longstanding rivalry on the men's World Sevens Series.

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Sport Singapore CEO Lim Teck Yin and Singapore Sports Hub CEO Oon Jin Teik said they are delighted that the Singapore Sevens will be extended for the next four years and are thankful to World Rugby for their continued trust in the Republic.

"There has been no determination on the format of the event in subsequent years and we are continuing work with World Rugby on all options moving forward", Jamie Levchuk, managing director of HSBC Canada Sevens and Rugby Canada Events, said in an email to The Canadian Press.

The full men's and women's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019-20 schedule and dates will be confirmed at a later stage in 2019. With the newly expanded women's series, qualified teams will have more high quality, competitive playing opportunities than ever before as they prepare to participate in Tokyo 2020. The two combined for one event in 2017, but that was not considered a major success.

The Singapore Sevens, which attracted some 140,000 fans to the National Stadium over the last three years, saw a turnout of 55,000 last year.

The Canada men's and women's tournaments are both hosted by Rugby Canada, but the men's event at BC Place would not be able to accommodate an additional tournament, and the Langford event for the women has been quite successful on its own.

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