With just 10 days to go until the hotly anticipated kick-off of the World Rugby Sevens Series 2022, the pools and match schedule have been announced for the Dubai Sevens on 26-27 November.
The 12-team men’s competition will follow the Olympic format with three pools of four teams each, while in the 10-team women’s event the teams are divided into two pools of five.
In the men’s event Pool A includes Fiji, fresh from retaining their Olympic title in Tokyo, together with Australia, Canada and France.
In Pool B, Olympic bronze medallists Argentina play Kenya, Spain and the USA. Kenya will arrive in Dubai in good form after reaching the medal podium in both 2021 series events, with silver in Vancouver and bronze in Edmonton. USA were beaten finalists in Dubai in 2019, when they finished the series as runners-up.
In Pool C, the 2021 series champions South Africa will take on Ireland, Great Britain and Japan, who were promoted as World Rugby Challenger Series champions in 2020. The Blitzboks will be in confident mood following their perfect win record during the pair of Canada Sevens events in September.
Matches will be played across two pitches and will get underway at 6.48am (SA time) on Friday, 26 November with Australia vs USA in a women’s Pool A match. Following two full days of action-packed rugby sevens, the women’s final will take place in The Sevens Stadium at 4:56pm on Saturday, 27 November, followed by the men’s final at 5:26pm (all SA times).
New Zealand’s men’s and women’s teams, who won the respective series titles in 2020, and Samoa’s men’s team are unable to participate in Dubai due to travel restrictions.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Sevens – originally planned to take place on 1-3 April – will be rescheduled to 4-6 November 2022, when it will serve as the opening event of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023.
Hong Kong will host a second event in the 2023 series six months later in its traditional April window, doubling the enjoyment of this popular event for fans. World Rugby is considering potential options for a replacement event in the 2022 series and further information will be shared in due course.
Following the pair of combined men’s and women’s events in Dubai, the series will move on to Europe as Spain host for the first time combined men’s and women’s events in Malaga and Seville on 21-23 and 28-30 January 2022, respectively.
The men’s series continues with North American rounds in Vancouver on 26-27 February and Los Angeles on 5-6 March, followed by Singapore on 9-10 April.