HSBC CT 7s unveils new look that includes women’s tournament

Ruben Hill
March 14, 2019

It will be one of six combined men's and women's rounds from 2019 to 2023, with dual tournaments also set to take place in Dubai, Hamilton, Sydney, Hong Kong and Paris.

Head coach Gareth Baber has endured a rough patch in charge since the back-to-back wins in Cape Town and Hamilton in this season's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series which has just seen Fiji compete in Las Vegas and Vancouver without lifting a title.

New Zealand will kick off a new four-year licence to host a leg of the tournament with an integrated men's and women's event in Hamilton in January.

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". The outlier is the US, with reports circulating that United World Sports has been considering moving the U.S. 7s from Las Vegas, this announcement adds a bit of fuel to that fire. The locations for the women's competition are Dubai, Cape Town, Hamilton, Sydney, Hong Kong, Paris, Glendale (in Colorado, USA) and Langford (in Canada).

Kean says that whilst it was disappointing for the bid to be unsuccessful, he appreciated World Rugby's reasons.

"Watching the women's and men's finals played back-to-back in front of a packed stadium in 2019 was an absolute highlight for players and fans".

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.

Springbok Women's Sevens captain Zintle Mpupha said: "We've all dreamed about playing at home".

"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".

Kean says Fijian fans will turn out in thousands to support their team, and they expect to attract large volumes of overseas rugby fans to experience Fiji's hospitality and passion for Sevens rugby.

Fiji Rugby Union Chief Executive John O'Connor said it was an exciting time for Fiji's rugby community. The impressive growth of the women's game is undoubtedly one of the biggest drivers of this, with new talent emerging and more eyeballs than ever before on the women's series.

The USA men's and women's events will remain separate in part because the hosting rights are held by two different entities: United World Sports for the men, and USA Rugby for the women.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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