The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will arrive back on the scene in Dubai next week and we'll be bringing you closer to the action than ever before, providing a behind the scenes look at both the men's and women's series.
The 2015-16 editions of the series received a record-breaking 60 million video views, reaching more than 100 million people across the globe. With rugby sevens' debut at the Olympic Games, which reached almost 50 million fans on social media across the six days, the 2016-17 series will bring with it a whole wave of new fans and World Rugby is gearing up to cater for them over the next six months.
Here's what you can expect to see over the next few months.
1. Increased live coverage on social platforms
Last season, the World Rugby's Facebook Live videos received 1.5 million video views on Facebook alone and this coverage will continue in 2016-17. Live interviews from the captains' photo shoots (typically three days before the tournament) and behind the scenes access to areas such as gym sessions in the build-up to the tournament will provide new glimpses of the life of players on the series. Snap reaction interviews pitchside and a fan-favourite live interview with the winners of each tournament will continue to show fans the personalities and stars of the series. Periscope will be used to bring the series to life on Twitter and you can follow the coverage at @WorldRugby7s
2. Snapchat takes centre stage
World Rugby's Snapchat channel (user name:rugbyworldcup) produced stories at every round of the series in 2015-16 and we will once again be taking you behind the scenes with the players and providing you insights from the tournament stadiums. Player Q&As will be a key part of the offering, so stay tuned to see some of the players under the disguise of filters, just like Jamie Heaslip recently at the World Rugby Awards.
3. Multi-language to step up to the next level
World Rugby's live blog coverage has been extensive in the past couple of series, with multi-lanugage blogs offering coverage to fans across the globe. World Rugby's social channels now cater for Japanese, French and Spanish speakers so make sure to give them a follow to get some of the best rugby sevens action over the course of the series.
4. Increased Twitter Q&As
Using Twitter's Q&A app we will get direct video answers back to you from the top players on the series, giving you insight into their lives and experience in rugby sevens. Make sure you look out for the relevant # on Twitter to put your questions to the best players in the world. Check out the one below with World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year 2016 Seabelo Senatla.
5. Live illustrations and video
We'll continue to cover both the men's and women's series events with an increased suite of graphic design, including illustrated video. Check out the Perry Baker video below to see what you can expect.