The most athletic, exciting and unpredictable sport on the planet will return next weekend as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 gets underway in Canada.
Seven weeks after the curtain came down on two thrilling sevens tournaments at the Tokyo Olympic Games, a host of the world’s best players will be back in action — and fans will be able to join the party too.
Vancouver will host the first of two HSBC Canada Sevens men’s events and women’s fast four tournaments on 18-19 September, before the action moves to Edmonton the following weekend.
Those events will form the 2021 Series, with the men’s and women’s Series titles awarded in Edmonton.
Great Britain will be looking to build on some impressive performances in Tokyo, where they narrowly missed out on a medal, when the women’s fast four tournament kicks off next Saturday.
Hosts Canada and the USA, who finished sixth at Tokyo Stadium, will both be confident that they can emerge victorious, while Mexico complete the line-up as the Series is played in front of the best supporters in the world for the first time in 18 months.
Six teams that competed in the men’s tournament at the Olympics in July have made the trip to Canada for sevens’ return, including Great Britain whose men also finished fourth in Tokyo.
South Africa, who won the 2017 and 2018 Series and finished as runners-up in 2020, have picked an exciting squad for the opening tournament that contains Angelo Davids, JC Pretorius and Ronald Brown, who enjoyed a breakthrough tournament in Tokyo.
Hosts Canada, the USA, Ireland and Kenya will also hope to put the lessons they learned at the Games into practice in Vancouver.
And, while COVID-19 travel restrictions have prevented a number of core Series teams from competing in Canada, new legends are sure to be made over the next fortnight.
That is particularly important as the teams use the tournaments in Vancouver and Edmonton as preparation for a packed 12 months that contains not only the 2022 Series, but also the Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup Sevens.
"We are incredibly excited to be bringing international rugby sevens back to Canada,” Rugby Canada CEO Allen Vansen said.
“Events aren’t able to move forward in today’s pandemic-influenced environment without a number of stakeholders working together.
“Our government partners and host venues have come together with solution-oriented approaches in order to host these events in Canada while ensuring the safety of participants and fans.
“On behalf of Rugby Canada, I thank World Rugby for these opportunities to once again welcome the world and celebrate the spirit of sevens rugby.”
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