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Sevens Series returns to Hong Kong

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File Picture: Justin Geduld of South Africa breaks away to score a try during the match against Wales on day two of the 2013 Hong Kong Sevens at Hong Kong Stadium. Picture: Mark Kolbe, Getty Images

A lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure we can announce a full Series schedule – World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin.

THE 2022 World Rugby Sevens Series will kick-off with a pair of men’s and women’s rounds in Dubai starting November, while Hong Kong returns as a stop, the sport’s global body said on Tuesday as it announced its schedule..

Sydney in Australia and Hamilton in New Zealand will not host the series next year due to logistical challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, World Rugby added.

Instead, Spain will play host for the first time with men’s and women’s events scheduled in Malaga and Seville from January 21-23 and January 28-30.

The first round in Dubai will be behind closed doors from November 26-27 followed by another on December 3-4 with fans in attendance at The Sevens Stadium.

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“A lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure we can announce a full Series schedule today,” World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said in a statement.

“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.”

The men’s series will also have a North American round in Vancouver (February 26-27) and Los Angeles (March 5-6) before moving to Asia, where Hong Kong will host a men’s and women’s event (April 1-3) after a gap of two years.

“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,” Gilpin said.

Meanwhile, Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell revealed that he can’t wait for some form of normality to return when the Blitzboks start the defence of their crown in the 2022 Series, after his team claimed this years title in a truncated fixture list.

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“We’re very excited to see a full World Series return to the calendar,” said Powell in a statement released yesterday by SA Rugby.

“We also realise the reality of the times we’re living in and know that it’s possible that some events may be changed or cancelled closer to the time, but for now it’s nice to see the planning in place for a full season.

“It’s also great to have a new country on the circuit with the two planned tournaments in Spain. They’ve also done well on the circuit and it’s a country that tries hard to grow the game, so it will be good to play in Malaga and Seville.”

Powell said the two recent tournaments in Canada, where the Blitzboks were crowned champions in Vancouver and Edmonton last month, showed the players’ hunger to play again.

“Hopefully, the Springbok Sevens team can build on that excitement and have a good 2022 World Series,” he added.

Reuters

additional reporting by Rugby Reporter

2022 Sevens Series fixtures

Round 1: Dubai, November 26-27, 2021

Round 2: Dubai, December 3-4

Round 3: Malaga, January 21-23, 2022

Round 4: Seville, January 28-30

Round 5: Vancouver, February 26-27

Round 6: Los Angeles, March 5-6

Round 7: Hong Kong, April 1-3

Round 8: Singapore, April 9-10

Round 9: Toulouse, May 20-22

Round 10: London, May 28-29

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