World Rugby acknowledges and supports the decision taken jointly by the RFU, Scottish Rugby and the WRU for Great Britain Sevens (GB) to compete in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, beginning with the 2023 Series.
The decision, which aligns with their Olympic participation status and qualification pathway, means there will be no team relegated from the men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022, as England, Scotland and Wales are replaced by a GB team, while GB will directly replace England in the women’s Series.
Great Britain previously participated in the Series in 2021 in preparation for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
England, Scotland and Wales will compete as individual nations in the Commonwealth Games, which take place at Coventry Stadium on 29-31 July, and Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town on 9-11 September and the respective unions and World Rugby are in discussions with regard to further playing opportunities for the England, Scotland and Wales teams.
It has also been confirmed by the World Rugby Executive Committee that Russia’s women’s sevens team have been withdrawn from the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 in line with the ongoing suspension of the Rugby Union of Russia from World Rugby membership and from participating in all international rugby competitions. As a result Brazil will maintain their status as a core team in the women’s 2023 Series.
The winners of the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series, which takes place in Chile on 12-14 August, will gain promotion to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023, as this important pathway to encourage the global growth of rugby sevens returns after a one-year break due to the pandemic.
World Rugby Chief Competitions and Performance Officer Nigel Cass said: “We pay tribute to the three unions for their positive and constructive collaboration, which will see a Great Britain Sevens team participate in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series from 2023, aligning with their Olympic participation.
“Meanwhile we look forward to welcoming England, Scotland and Wales teams to compete in the Commonwealth Games at Coventry Stadium on 29-31 July and Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town on 9-11 September.
“Building on two highly impactful Olympic Games in Rio and Tokyo, the future of rugby sevens is very bright and we are working hard on exciting plans to engage and inspire new, younger and more diverse participants and fans across the globe.”
The 14 men’s core teams confirmed for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 are: Argentina, Australia, Canada Great Britain, Fiji, France, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, Samoa, South Africa, Spain and the USA. They will be joined by the winner of the World Rugby Challenger Series 2022, with one invitational team added at each round of the Series, with 16 teams participating at each tournament.
The 2022 finale of the men’s Series takes place in Los Angeles on 27-28 August in what promises to be a thrilling finale with four teams – South Africa, Australia, Argentina and Fiji – still in with a chance of claiming the Series title.
The 10 women’s teams confirmed on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Fiji, France, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain and the USA. They will be joined by the winner of the World Rugby Challenger Series 2022, with one invitational team added at each round of the Series, bringing the total to 12 teams participating at each tournament.
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 will kick off with a men’s event in Hong Kong on 4-6 November 2022, before combined men’s and women’s rounds in Dubai on 2-3 December, and Cape Town on 9-11 December.
The Series continues in 2023 with 11 men’s rounds and 7 women’s rounds in total. The women’s Series will reach it’s exciting conclusion in Toulouse, France as part of a combined event on 12-14 May, with the men’s finale coming a week later in London, England on 20-21 May.