Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
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World Rugby announces expanded women’s seven series for next four-year cycle

World Rugby announces expanded women’s seven series for next four-year cycle

The World Rugby Sevens Series circuit will feature six combined men's and women's rounds for the next four seasons.

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.

On Wednesday, it was announced that a women's tournament would be added to the highly popular men's Cape Town Sevens for the fifth edition of the tournament that will again take place in December this year.

World Rugby chair Bill Beaumont said, "The selection of host destinations for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series comprises a winning blend of globally-attractive destinations, excellent facilities and superb organisers".

Next season's series will also lead into the Olympic Games which takes place from July 27 to August 1 in Tokyo, Japan. World Rugby said that the host location in the US to be confirmed at a later stage in the season.

The New Zealand Sevens have been held in Hamilton for the past two years, following an 18 year run in Wellington, and New Zealand Rugby's Chief Rugby Officer Nigel Cass said they were talking to World Rugby and the Fiji Rugby Union about hosting the event in Fiji during the 2020-2023 cycle.

The women's circuit will increase to eight tournaments with six of those combined with the men.

Nine existing men's world series destinations - Dubai, Cape Town, Hamilton, Sydney, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Paris - are set to feature again as part of the next four-year cycle, with the host location in the U.S. to be confirmed at a later stage in the season.

"We are delighted to see the women's series expand to eight rounds over the next four-year cycle, an historic move that will provide more high quality competitive worldwide playing opportunities for women's sevens teams, a core strand of our Accelerating the Global Development of Women in Rugby plan".

"With more rounds means that we can create more professional opportunities for elite players and I look forward to seeing a robust Aon University Sevens Series this year as the competition for spots from old and new players heats up", Women's Sevens Head Coach, John Manenti said.

"For the men's series, the selected hosts represent a consistent balance of long-established and newer venues, with the five host unions who joined in 2015 retaining their host status. Past year we played at the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup and and for us to grow as a team and as individuals, we need to be playing at the highest level". 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.

"Everyone has seen the contribution of the Fijian rugby community to the success of the tournament in Hamilton both on the field and in the stands", he said.

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