CHRONICLE OF EVENTS
Compiled by Adrian Hill
7th. IRB announce that starting next season, 2012-2013, all IRB Sevens World Series events will be contested by 16 teams instead of the current 12 per tournament as the sport continues building towards its debut in the 2016 Olympics. 2013 RUGBY almanack “Chronicle of Events” p.359.
“Sevens World Series
09 FEB 2012
The HSBC World Sevens Series will continue to expand, with the news that three new teams will be added to all series legs, only a few weeks after the International Rugby Board (IRB) announced the final details of the new Japanese leg of the tournament.
From next season the core sides will increase, meaning that the current 12 automatic sides – such as New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa and England – will increase to 15, meaning that three extra teams will have continuous competition which will further grow the sport from 2012-2013.
The inclusion of Sevens into the Olympics in 2016 is having far reaching affects, with numerous unions pumping huge amounts of capital into their development programmes, while the New Zealand Rugby Union recently held trials for creating a full time women’s team.
The 2012 Hong Kong Sevens, which sold out in less than half an hour last year, will double as a qualification tournament which determines which three teams/nations will compete in all the legs of next year’s series.
IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset explained that the decision was to increase the competitiveness and depth leading into Rio in four years time.
“As we build towards Rio 2016 and our Olympic Games debut, it is important that opportunities exist for all nations to progress to series core team status if they are good enough,” Lapasset said.”