The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series calendar for the 2022 season has been released and will see the men’s teams play 10 rounds and the women’s teams play seven.
These tournaments will take place over the course of six months, kicking off with a pair of combined men’s and women’s events in Dubai, United Arab Emirates at the end of November.
The Emirates Dubai Sevens will host a behind-closed-doors round on 26-27 November, 2021, followed by a second event a week later on 3-4 December with fans in attendance at The Sevens Stadium.
Great Britain will represent three unions in the first two events but will split into England, Scotland and Wales in the men’s and England will take part in the women’s series following the Dubai tournaments.
The 16 men’s core teams after the Dubai events are Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, USA and Wales.
South Africa will look to defend the title they won in the shortened 2021 season.
Japan will join the men’s Series as a core team following their promotion as HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series champions in 2020.
The 11 core women’s teams after the Dubai events are Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Russia, Spain and the USA.
New Zealand’s Black Ferns Sevens will be aiming to defend their title after being crowned champions in 2020.
There will be a similar double-header in Spain for rounds three and four with events taking place in Malaga and Seville on 21-23 and 28-30 January, 2022 respectively.
The new venues in Spain temporarily replace traditional Series hosts Sydney, Australia, and Hamilton, New Zealand, who were unable to host in 2022 due to the logistical challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in their region.
The men’s Series continues with North American rounds in Vancouver on 26-27 February and Los Angeles on 5-6 March before moving to Asia.
Hong Kong returns to host a combined men’s and women’s event on 1-3 April, followed by a men’s event in Singapore on 9-10 April.
A women’s standalone event will take place in Langford, Canada, on 30 April-1 May before both men’s and women’s teams travel to a new Series venue in Toulouse, France, on 20-22 May where the women’s Series champions will be crowned.
The men’s Series concludes with the final event in London on 28-29 May.
World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin spoke about the release of the 2022 schedule: “Following an outstandingly competitive and highly impactful Olympic Games competition it is fantastic to announce a full schedule for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022 today.
“Alongside popular and traditional rugby sevens venues it will be exciting to take the Series to new venues in Spain and France as the game continues to expand and captivate new audiences around the world with its fast, skilful and thrilling format.
“Rugby sevens is a key driver of global growth for our sport, particularly in emerging nations, and it firmly remains a top priority for our organisation.
“A lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure we can announce a full Series schedule today and we thank HSBC, the host organisations, unions, commercial and broadcast partners for their unwavering support and spirit of collaboration as we navigate the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic together.
“We now look ahead to the return of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series at full throttle ahead of what promises to be a very busy and exciting year for sevens with the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town following the Series.
“As ever, the health and welfare of players, fans and wider society continues to be our primary concern and we will work closely with all stakeholders to ensure the safe delivery of the Series.
HSBC Group Head of Brand and Brand Partnerships Jonathan Castleman said: “Like everyone involved we are incredibly excited that the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is back and this is truly a testament to all of the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes.
“With new venues in both Spain and France, it opens up further opportunities to attract even more players, fans and communities to the spectacle of rugby sevens and as the long-term partner of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series we cannot wait to watch the teams competing at the highest levels again and where possible with full stadiums.”