A bumper Asia Rugby Sevens calendar begins this weekend in Jakarta with the next few months one of the busiest in history.
Over the course of the next few months, 74 teams from 25 unions will participate in one of the Asia Rugby Sevens events, 34 of which are women’s sides.
This weekend the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy for both men and women begins proceedings, with the two Olympic Games qualifiers in November bringing the season to a close.
In between the boys’ U18 sevens tournament takes place in China on 17-18 August before the men’s and women’s U20 sevens takes place in Laos on 24-25 August.
The men’s and women’s Asia Rugby Sevens Series will be played across the normal three rounds, this year in Korea, China and Sri Lanka with the girls’ U18 sevens the other tournament to take place. Hong Kong, Iran, Pakistan and the Philippines will compete in that event in Pakistan on 21-22 September.
The coverage starts this weekend in Jakarta with all matches from the Trophy being streamed live on the Asia Rugby Facebook page. Malaysia’s men and Korea’s women will be among the favourites to lift the title having been relegated from the Series last season.
However, with 11 men’s teams, including the likes of Mongolia, Laos and Brunei, and eight women’s sides, including hosts Indonesia, Bangladesh and Qatar, the competition is set to showcase the depth of rugby sevens across Asia.
The season will culminate with two new Asian qualifiers for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year, and all eyes will be on the progression throughout the season.
“This is one of the busiest sevens periods in the history of Asia Rugby,” said World Rugby Council member Ada Milby.
“With so many teams wanting to participate in our events it is a great testament to the development of the sport in our region.
“It’s an exciting time with 74 teams playing across the 10 tournaments and I am looking forward to being part of and experiencing the inspirational stories that come out of them.”