HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019 schedule – Fans hold breath

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HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019 schedule - Fans hold breath
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 27: Waisea Nacuqu of Fiji makes a break in the game against Russia during day two of the 2018 Sydney Sevens at Allianz Stadium on January 27, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

For rugby sevens fans, each season of the World Series gets better, and better. So they will be ‘holding their breath’ until the Women restart the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019 in October.

Later in November, the men are scheduled to kick-off their season. So the late 2018 dates contribute the stepping stone, to another entertaining calendar for the 11 core women’s and the 15 core men’s teams.

This all comes only weeks since the latest season ended, with celebrations for the Blitzboks, and the Aussie women. Each only just managed to top the chasing teams, which showed how closely fought the series was, and should be in 2019.

Winners and (nearly winners) of the 2017/18 HSBC Sevens Series

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019

The women will play in six tournaments in 2019. An increase over last season, with the Glendale 7s beginning their year; from October to June.

The men will play in ten tournaments in 2019. The same full schedule, as in last season, with the Dubai 7s beginning their calendar; from November to June.

The challenge for the top teams, is to improve. Some will respond well – even considering new players and those who can maintain their motivation. With increased rewards and investment, players are now totally proffesional, with the most focused wholly on sevens [above the XVs game].

Both groups will invite a team to each of their respective tournaments. And like in the last few years, this is a development program for teams outside of the Tier One nations. Invitations, to play in one or more tournaments, picking up the key skills base for those nations to make the next step up.

And the goals for those teams, as well as every nation, is the newest goal for rugby sevens players – the Olympic Games.

Men’s and Women’s series will hold more reward

The latest World Series circuit forms the principal route for Olympic qualification, ahead of 2020 Tokyo Olympics. So outside the series qualifiers, it would be down to regional qualifiers to complete the 12-strong field, and to give the sport an even higher profile.

“With the sport’s second Olympics now on the horizon in 2020, there are significant opportunities to engage even more new players, fans and countries”, were the sevens ideals, communicated by major sponsor HSBC.

Leanne Cutts, HSBC Group General Manager and Group Head of Marketing, told WorldRugby.com “as a long-term partner of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, we can take great pride in the work we’ve done to help deliver the record growth and expansion the game has enjoyed in recent seasons.”

The game is enjoying a high profile, with the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament only days away from kicking off in San Francisco.

2020 Tokyo Olympics qualification in 2019

That expansion will be translated onto the Olympic Games schedule, when nations qualify for the 2020 event. As per normal, host nation Japan will be joined by the top qualifying teams from the HSBC Sevens Series.

Then, regional qualifiers from all of World Rugby global zones will see teams from Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania, all aiming to secure their place. That schedule is to be announced, but it will be the ultimate goal for sides like Hong Kong, Germany, Madagascar and Paraguay. And for every athlete who holds those goals, knowing that current stars like Carlin Isles have that same dream, is a huge boost.

Not only will the major nations aim to play in Tokyo, but also those sides who have ‘high expectations’ will throw everything at qualification, over the next calendar year.

And the good news continued.

In September 2017, Sevens was retained as a member sport for the 2024 Paris Games, and that was a huge motivation for more nations to invest in national programs.

In 2019, key focus for teams will be the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. And for those outside of core status, it will be in gaining entry to that club. If not now, then to grow in confidence, that when they compete at Regional Qualifiers for the Olympics, Sevens Series or to achieve higher goals.

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The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019 schedule kicks off in October.

 

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