Cape Town to be the final leg of a revamped and shortened World Rugby Sevens Series
The Cape Town Sevens will this year be the final leg of a revamped and shortened World Rugby Sevens Series.
The SA leg of the series will return to the Cape Town Stadium from December 10 to 12 after a Covid-enforced absence in 2020.
The condensed 2021 World Series includes five women’s and four men’s rounds and kicks off in Paris, France with back-to-back women’s tournaments on two weekends in May before the teams set sail for the Olympic Games‚ scheduled for Tokyo in July. Although organisers are desperate for it to happen‚ whether the Olympic Games will go ahead is yet to be confirmed.
The series will move on to Singapore ( October 29-30)‚ followed by joint men’s and women’s events in Hong Kong ( November 5-7)‚ Dubai ( December 3-4) and finally in Cape Town ( December 10-12).
Detailed discussions are continuing with London and Vancouver on the viability of hosting men’s events in the window following the Olympic Games and prior to the Singapore Sevens in October and further updates to the schedule will be given when available.
SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux welcomed the announcement and said the rugby fraternity had been waiting for confirmation of one of the most anticipated sports events in the country.
“We are working very hard to ensure the same high standards and expectations are met this year‚ given the changed environment and expected pandemic guidelines that will apply,” said Roux, who added the 2021 season would be taxing on players and administrators.
“We have seen the disruptions caused by Covid-19 in the last year and it was not easy to get all the moving parts together‚ especially as the postponed Olympic Games also impacted on the normal planning‚” said Roux.
The dual staging of men's and women's event proved popular in 2019, according to Roux, who is confident the same will apply this year.
“The fact that we will be the final tournament of the series will add to the excitement and drama so closely associated with sevens rugby.”
The Cape Town tournament will be staged over three days and ticketing details will be announced in due course.
World Rugby interim chief executive Alan Gilpin said the announcement of the World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 schedule marks a significant and exciting moment for rugby seven’s re-emergence from the impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
“As a key driver of game growth‚ particularly in emerging markets‚ the continued success of rugby sevens and the Sevens Series is a strategic priority for World Rugby and our $4m (about R59.6m) funding to support sevens programmes is a clear demonstration of our commitment.
“Above all‚ the health‚ safety and well being of players‚ fans and the wider community remains our top priority‚” he said.
He said all stakeholders will continue to closely monitor global developments with the Covid-19 pandemic and work closely with host governments and health agencies to ensure a safe‚ secure and highly impactful return to the World Rugby Sevens Series.