HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 calendar was announced on March 3, 2021, with seven destinations confirmed this calendar year and some changes to the participating nations.
There are five women’s events and four men’s sevens events in 2021 and the Series kicks off with back-to-back women’s rounds in Paris, France on 15-16 and 22-23 May.
In the announcement, World Rugby said “Health and safety of players, teams and all involved remain the top priority as all stakeholders continue to closely monitor global developments with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
World Rugby Interim Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “The announcement of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 schedule marks a significant and exciting moment for rugby seven’s re-emergence from the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic and we thank HSBC and all Series partners for their unwavering support, and host organisations and participating unions for their hard work, patience and spirit of collaboration.”
What changes are there to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021?
The condensed 2021 Series schedule includes five women’s and four men’s rounds, with the addition of a further two potential men’s events under discussion in London and Vancouver.
- Japan will join the men’s tournament as a core team following their promotion from the inaugural HSBC World Rugby Challenger Series in 2020.
- Two additional invitational places for teams to participate in the men’s 2021 Series events, with invitational teams to be announced in due course.
- England, Scotland & Wales combine to compete as ‘GB Sevens’ in both men’s & women’s Series’ in 2021, which follows their entry at the Olympics as Team GB.
- Of the confirmed HSBC Men’s World Rugby Sevens Series 2021, three of the four tournaments take place in Asia: Singapore, Hong Kong, and Dubai.
- Hong Kong, Dubai and Cape Town to host joint men’s and women’s events.
New Zealand are the reigning champions of both the women’s and men’s Series after being crowned winners of the 2020 edition. That Series conclusion with five of the concluded early with five of the eight women’s rounds and six of the 10 men’s rounds successfully completed before COVID-19 meant the Series could not continue.
Other Sevens Rugby Events 2021
The Spanish Rugby Federation (FER) 20-21 and 27-28 February held a sevens tournament in Madrid with six women’s and six men’s international teams participate.
Another potential tournament includes a joint women’s and men’s event in Los Angeles over the weekend of 25-27 June.
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 Schedule
The schedule below included the information for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 as well as other planned sevens events this year:
- Paris 15-16 May 2021 (Women)
- Paris 22-23 May 2021 (Women)
- Monaco 19-20 June 2021 Sevens Repechage for Tokyo Olympics (Non-HSBC World Sevens Series Evemt)
- Los Angeles TBC 25-27 June 2o21 (Women and Men) (Non-HSBC World Sevens Series event)
- Tokyo Olympics Men 25-27 July 2021(Non-HSBC World Sevens Series event)
- Tokyo Olympics Women 29-30th July 2021 (Non-HSBC World Sevens Series event)
- Canada TBC September 2021 (Men)
- London TBC 2021 (Men)
- Singapore 29-30 October 2021 (Men)
- Hong Kong 5-7 November 2021 (Women and Men)
- Dubai 3-4 December 2021 (Women and Men)
- Cape Town 10-12 December 2021 (Women and Men)
Asian Sevens Series 2021
Currently, Asia Rugby has the following dates pencilled in for the Asia Rugby Sevens Series 2021 (Men’s & Women’s):
There are three legs for the women and men, with the series being played in South Korea, China and Sri Lanka, from August to September 2021.
- 28-29 August – Asia Rugby Sevens Series Leg 1: Incheon, Korea
- 11-12 September – Asia Rugby Sevens Series Leg 2: Huizhou, China
- 25-26 September – Asia Rugby Sevens Series Leg 2: Colombo, Sri Lanka
A date of 13-14 November 2021 has been set for the Asia Rugby Men’s & Women’s Sevens Trophy with the venue as Jakarta, Indonesia – but more details are to be confirmed.
World Seven Series Funding
World Rugby said it is providing “US$4 million funding for rugby sevens programmes and high-performance preparation events ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.”
World Rugby Hypocracy?
In the same week that the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand was recommended to be postponed from 2021 to 2022, the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 news was released. The final decision is to be made next week.
The reason for the recommendation of moving the RWC 2021 was for player safety and to offer the “safest environment to perform to their best” due to the global pandemic.
However, there are more venues, players and teams involved with the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021. Sevens, arguably, also is more need for fans to be in attendance for the rugby carnival atmosphere and its unclear if, or how, fans will be able to attend the Sevens events.
It does raise some questions over World Rugby decisions on these global events and a number of fans have expressed these concerns on the World Rugby Sevens social media platforms since the announcement.