World Rugby unveils condensed 7s 2021 schedule
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens series, wiped out last year by the pandemic, will return in May with two women’s events.
But the men won’t see any action on the circuit until September. And there is no Canadian stop yet.
World Rugby says discussions are continuing with Vancouver and London on whether to host men’s events in the window between the Tokyo Olympics and HSBC Singapore Sevens at the end of October.
The schedule does not include Langford, BC, Canada’s traditional stop on the women’s circuit.
The 2020 Sevens Series was put on hold after the men’s event in Vancouver on March 7-8. The Langford 2020 women’s event, scheduled for May 2-3, never took place.
The condensed 2021 schedule includes five women’s and four men’s rounds, pending decisions on Vancouver and London.
The Olympic competition of the 7 is scheduled for July 26 to 31
New Zealand were crowned champions in the women’s and men’s series in 2020, which ended early after five of the eight scheduled women’s runs and six of the men’s 10 runs.
The Canadians placed third and the men eighth when the 2020 season was called.
The 2021 calendar starts with consecutive women’s events in Paris on May 15-16 and 22-23. The Sevens series will then be halted for the Olympics and will restart with a men’s event in Singapore (October 29-30), followed by joint men’s and women’s rounds in Hong Kong (November 5-7), Dubai (3-4 December). ) and Cape Town (December 10-12).
The Olympic seven-a-side competition is scheduled for July 26-31 at Tokyo Stadium.
The Canadians both qualified for Tokyo. The Canadians won bronze at the Rio 2016 Games, which the Canadians missed.
World Rugby declares, with the help of the International Olympic Committee, that it is investing US $ 4 million to help qualified teams prepare for the Olympic Games. The pre-Olympic competition includes a mixed women’s and men’s event in Los Angeles from June 25-27.
Further events will be announced at a later date.
Japan will join as the main team in 2021 after being promoted to the first HSBC World Rugby Challenger Series in 2020.
As it is an Olympic year, teams from England, Scotland and Wales combine to compete as “GB Sevens” in both men’s and women’s competitions. This will create two more spots, with invitational teams to be announced at a later date.
World Rugby admits the pandemic could lead to more openings.
“Given the unique and unprecedented nature of the global COVID-19 pandemic and its various international travel restrictions and quarantine measures, it is recognized that some teams may not be able to travel or participate in all the events of the 2021 Series, ”the governing body said in a statement.
“To the extent possible, World Rugby will invite replacement teams to fill the spots of any main Series team unable to participate in a Series event.”