- Twelve-team HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series men’s event and women’s Fast Four tournament set for Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Canada on 25-26 September
- Men’s Pool A features Series leaders South Africa, together with Canada, Hong Kong and Mexico. Pool B includes Kenya, the USA, Spain and Chile. Pool C involves Great Britain, Ireland, Germany and Jamaica
- Great Britain aim to defend women’s Fast Four title against Canada, Mexico and the USA
- Action begins with Canada v USA women at 09:00 on Saturday with the women’s final on Sunday at 16:56, followed by the men’s final at 17:28 when the 2021 Series champions will be crowned (all times local, GMT-6)
- Matches live streamed on World Rugby platforms or via national broadcasters here
Captains of 12 men’s and four women’s teams gathered in front of the Edmonton skyline on Thursday ahead of the final round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021.
South Africa men and Great Britain women will be aiming to repeat their HSBC Canada Sevens triumphs achieved in Vancouver last weekend, but will face stiff competition over two days of intense action as a Series event is contested for the first time at Commonwealth Stadium on 25-26 September.
Many of the teams and over 35 players who competed at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in July will be in action in Edmonton, alongside a number of invitational teams who will be keen to gain further experience and demonstrate their potential.
The men’s Series competition sees the 12 teams divided into three pools of four teams, following the format used at the Olympic Games.
In the men’s competition Pool A sees South Africa, the 2020 Series runners-up who overpowered Kenya 38-5 to win the final in Vancouver last weekend, together with hosts Canada, and invitational teams Hong Kong and Mexico.
South Africa captain Siviwe Soyizwapi said: “Last weekend was really great for us. The boys were really hungry to play rugby again and it is really exciting to have the new, younger guys coming in who brought so much energy to the team. It is always a privilege and an honour to put on this jersey and represent your country and they really showed up on the world stage. Sevens rugby is always fast, exciting and energetic and it’s going to be thrilling to watch this weekend.”
Canada captain Phil Berna said: “It’s very exciting for us to bring the sevens game to a new part of Canada and we hope to inspire a new generation of rugby players here. We have a young team and we’re looking forward to testing ourselves and getting more game time against top level Series opponents such as South Africa who are going to be a great test in our pool.”
In Pool B, Kenya, impressive beaten finalists last weekend in Vancouver, will face the USA, Spain and invitational team Chile.
Pool C features Great Britain and Ireland, who contested the bronze medal match in Vancouver, alongside invitational teams Germany and Jamaica.
There is a strong line-up for the women’s Fast Four tournament with Canada, Great Britain, the USA and Mexico participating.
Great Britain beat the USA 34-12 is last weekend’s final and co-captain Megan Jones said: “It was really good to get back out there last weekend. We came off the Olympics with fourth place so a lot of us just wanted to get out there and get the love of sevens back and we definitely achieved that in addition to the new players on board with us. The same principles apply this weekend, it’s all about the smiles and the enjoyment as well as the winning. Canada and USA are both physical, dominant opponents who have depth in their squads, so we’re really looking forward to matching up with them again this weekend.”
The women’s fast four competition format sees all teams play each other before semi-finals are followed by the third place match and gold medal final.
The women will get the action under way when Canada face the USA at 09:00 local time (GMT-6) on Saturday 25 September.
The men’s event begins with a Pool B encounter between Ireland and Germany at 09:44 local time. The last match of day one promises to be a highly anticipated encounter as hosts Canada take on last weekend’s winners South Africa in Pool A at 18:33 local time.
Day two begins with the first of the men’s quarter-finals kicking off at 09:20 and concludes with the women’s Fast Four final at 16:56, followed by the men’s final at 17:28 (all times local).
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 title will be awarded on Sunday as the shortened Series concludes following the pair of events hosted in Canada.
Given the unique circumstances due to the global pandemic, there will be no relegation from the 2021 Series and the results will not contribute towards seedings for any other future events.
Rugby sevens players and fans can look forward to a very busy and exciting year ahead. The 2022 Series will kick off in Dubai on 26-27 November, 2021, with the full schedule to be announced soon. The Series will be followed by the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, on 29-31 July 2022 and Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town, South Africa, on 9-11 September 2022.