New Sevens World Collection format takes form

Seven rounds in “seven iconic international locations” over seven months, with 12 males’s and girls’s sides competing at every occasion 

New Sevens World Collection format takes form

It’s actually occurring – the Sevens World Collection is altering from subsequent yr to absorb seven rounds in “seven iconic international locations” over seven months, with 12 males’s and girls’s sides competing alongside one another at every occasion.

World Rugby have right this moment introduced that they are going to be simplifying their method to sevens, to supply extra of a ‘sportainment’ mannequin of ‘three-day festivals’ aimed on the 18 to 34 market. It chimes with what World Rugby’s chief income and fan engagement officer Richard Heaselgrave advised us in an unique interview in August, saying “we’ll by no means ever run out of concepts for rugby followers” as the game’s governing physique appears to modernise and uncover new followers.

All seven occasions on the revamped Collection will probably be unveiled within the coming months – although Rugby World understands that Hong Kong and Dubai are assured to stay as hosts. However Heaselgrave tells us of the competitors to be on the circuit: “You’ve obtained the hosts which have historically been rugby sevens hosts and then you definitely’ve obtained the curiosity from governments and cities now, that might broaden the content material of the occasion.”

World Rugby have created their EventsCo which is able to take over a bigger accountability for the supply of the occasions (together with financing) alongside hosts. So sooner or later World Cups and worldwide competitions just like the deliberate WXV girls’s event and potential non-contact choices, will be carried out on a much bigger scale, it’s urged. 

With that in thoughts Heaselgrave provides of the bidding course of: “That part means having the ability to say to cities in America or in Spain or in Asia or wherever around the globe, ‘we’re solely going to do seven of those, they’re going to be a lot greater, and you’ll be in.’ It’s been fairly interesting.”

New Sevens World Series format takes shape

Michaela Blyde scores for the Black Ferns sevens (Getty Photographs)

The 2 fundamental standards for choice, we’re advised, are “One: can we generate income from it to take a position again into participant salaries? And quantity two: is it a vacation spot that you simply wish to go to, that you simply simply go ‘oh my phrase that’s simply gorgeous!’” The intention, additionally, is “following the solar.”

Participant salaries are one other component of this, with the governing physique promising gamers will obtain equal participation charges for women and men, with a “70% uplift in World Rugby’s funding in participation charges”. 

With every of the seven legs of the sequence having their very own month to personal, and three days of competitors inside it, there could possibly be fairly a little bit of house both aspect of occasions. Nonetheless, World Rugby imagine this makes the narrative for followers all of the clearer with occasions now not jammed collectively in blocks. It’s why the ultimate leg of the sequence may have a ‘Grand Finale’ to crown sequence champions and host play-offs between Challenger Collection sides and the bottom ranked World Collection sides, for promotion-relegation. 

Of their official announcement, World Rugby say of the Finale: “(It) will see the highest eight ranked groups after six rounds compete to be topped Collection champions, whereas the groups ranked ninth to 12th will be part of the highest 4 ranked groups from the Challenger Collection in a excessive stakes relegation play-off competitors which is able to see 4 groups safe their locations within the subsequent version of the Collection. The 4 unsuccessful groups will go into regional competitions to qualify for the subsequent Challenger Collection, which includes of 12 males’s and 12 girls’s groups competing within the second degree of worldwide rugby sevens.”

With the variety of groups on the sequence happening from 16 to 12, the hope is the standard of the Challenger tier goes up.

New Sevens World Collection format in a nutshell

  • Remodelled Sevens World Collection to incorporate seven rounds, in seven “iconic international locations”, throughout seven months, kicking off in December 2023
  • Totally mixed and males’s and girls’s Collection with variety of males’s groups diminished from 16 to 12, aligning with the Olympic competitors mannequin
  • Annual ‘Grand Finale’ occasion will crown Collection champions and supply pathway alternative for 4 males’s and girls’s groups to realize promotion from the Challenger Collection
  • Three-day, festival-style occasions focused at “partaking with youth tradition”
  • Hosts, competitors dates and new model id to be unveiled “within the coming months”

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