Rugby Sevens Is Back as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022 schedule has been unveiled.
Following on from a thrilling Rugby Sevens event at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the 2022 Series will see new and renewed rivalries while breaking new ground.
Fiji and New Zealand, winners of the men’s and women’s Olympic golds, will head into the Series full of confidence, as will the Blitzbokke of South Africa and Great Britain (Team GB), who both performed well during the recent tournaments in Canada.
WHEN WILL THE 2022 SERIES TAKE PLACE?
It has been confirmed that the 2022 Series will get underway with a combined men’s and women’s event in Dubai on 26-27 November, 2021, sadly the event will be without public crowds.
The Sevens Stadium will then welcome fans for a second event on 3-4 December, followed by a further 8 men's events and 7 women's events, totalling 10 men’s and seven women’s rounds in total.
Toulouse will play host to the final women’s event on 20-22 May, 2022, where the women’s Series champions will be crowned.
One week later, the men’s Series will come to its conclusion in London as the curtain comes down on the season at Twickenham.
WHICH TEAMS WILL COMPETE IN THE SERIES?
Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, USA and Wales are the 16 men’s core teams for the 2022 Series.
Great Britain will compete in the opening two rounds of the men’s and women’s Series in Dubai, as part of the standing agreement to play the calendar year 2021.
Alongside England, the core women’s teams after the Dubai events will be Australia, Brazil, Canada, Fiji, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Russia, Spain and USA.
WHERE WILL THE SERIES BE PLAYED?
Following the two combined events in Dubai, the Series moves to Europe where men’s and women’s rounds will be held in Spain for the first time. Malaga hosts on 21-23 January and Seville the following week.
The men’s Series will then travel to North America for rounds in Vancouver on 26-27 February and Los Angeles on 5-6 March.
Hong Kong is scheduled to host a combined men’s and women’s event on 1-3 April, and the men will remain in Asia for an event in Singapore the next weekend.
A women’s standalone event will be held in Langford, Canada on 30 April-1 May before the final combined event of the Series takes place in Toulouse on 20-22 May.
The men’s Series champions will be crowned the following weekend as the final event of the 2022 Series is held in London on 28-29 May.
WILL THERE BE ANY NEW VENUES IN 2022?
Yes, three new venues will host rounds during the 2022 Series — all of which will be combined men’s and women’s events.
First up is Malaga, the popular Andalusian city, that sits on the Costa del Sol, which will welcome the teams in January.
Sevilla will then host its first Series event on 28-30 January. Around 200km inland from Malaga and Andalusia’s capital.
The final women’s, and penultimate men’s, event will take place in the hotbed of French rugby, Toulouse in May. The Pink City will also host five matches during Rugby World Cup 2023.
HOW WILL THE SERIES CHAMPION BE DECIDED?
Noting that Great Britain will compete in the opening two rounds, a points system will be developed that promotes fairness for all competing teams, including those who comprise Great Britain.
This will also recognise situations where teams may not be able to participate in any rounds owing to COVID-19.
WHO WON THE TITLES IN 2021?
South Africa were crowned men’s 2021 Series champions having won 12 matches out of 12 to secure the event titles in both Vancouver and Edmonton.
New Zealand were unable to play in those events in Canada due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, and the 2020 Series champions will hope to pick up in Dubai where they left off 19 months ago.
Great Britain dominated the Fast Four tournaments in Vancouver and Edmonton, remaining unbeaten across the two events to win both.
Like their male counterparts, New Zealand’s Black Ferns Sevens will hope to defend the crown they claimed in 2020 when the team won four of five events.