World Rugby today announced USA Rugby will host the opening round of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series next season in Glendale, Colorado.
The announcement of this new addition brings the number of rounds on the women’s series to six, guaranteeing more competitive playing opportunities for series participants on their route to qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The new HSBC USA Women’s Sevens kicks off on 20-21 October, followed by existing rounds in Dubai, Sydney, Kitakyushu, Langford and Paris.
The tournament will be held at Infinity Park, the state-of-the-art 4,000-seater stadium in the heart of Glendale, Colorado’s rugby epicentre and premier setting for rugby in the USA.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “We are delighted to be expanding the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series next season, creating and delivering more high-performance quality competitions for participating teams, which is a key strand of the wider Women’s Plan 2017-25.
“Rugby sevens has played an important role in the growth and development of the women’s game. The outstanding success of the women’s sevens competition at Rio 2016 delivered a huge boost globally in terms of participation, profile and engagement. In recent times we have seen the world series continue to win new fans and inspire players worldwide with its mix of impressive skill, high-octane rugby and exciting atmosphere.”
USA Rugby General Manager of Women’s High Performance Emilie Bydwell said: “We are thrilled to have a HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series stop return to the United States next season. With the considerable growth of women's rugby, having a home tournament provides an access point for the community with our Women's Eagles Sevens.
“Glendale is an incredible venue and the opportunity to kick off an Olympic qualification season at home in front of our athletes' family, friends and fans is amazing. Subsequently, followed up by the Women’s Eagles home match against the Black Ferns just two weeks later, demonstrates commitment to driving the women's game forward in this country."
Otherwise known as RugbyTown, Infinity Park is nestled within a community that has seen the rise of rugby first-hand. With year-round events hosted across club, college and professional programmes, including all home games for the Glendale Raptors of the newly formed Major League Rugby, and Glendale Merlins of the Women’s Premier League, the stadium encapsulates the increasing excitement for the sport, making it a prime location to further catapult the growth of the women’s game.
Glendale Mayor Mike Dunafon added: “We are honoured to have been chosen as the venue to host the HSBC USA Women’s Sevens tournament and look forward to welcoming the athletes, families, and fans to RugbyTown USA.”
2018 is set to be an exciting year for rugby sevens with the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament taking place in San Francisco 20-22 July, providing further opportunity to inspire and engage new participants and fans in the USA and around the world. The tournament promises to be a spectacular event, with three days of thrilling action in the iconic AT&T Park.
A full schedule for the upcoming HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series 2019 will be announced following the conclusion of the 2018 series which comes to an exciting climax this weekend, with the final round of both the women’s and men’s series taking place in Paris. Tickets to the Glendale event will also soon be released.