Source: Martin Seras Lima World Rugby

World’s top players eye Rio 2016 as Women’s 7s Series kicks off

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  • World’s top players in action across most eagerly-awaited series to date
  • Record broadcast and social engagement anticipated as Dubai kicks off
  • 2015/16 series kicks off four-year HSBC title sponsorship

The world’s top female rugby sevens players are currently in action at the opening round of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai as the road to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games gathers pace.

With just nine months to go until rugby returns to sport’s biggest stage, the action-packed series will feature 10 of the 12 teams who will compete for a medal in Rio next year.

The two-day Dubai event also marks the start of a new-look competition that will visit a schedule of global locations – Dubai, Sao Paulo, Atlanta and Langford (with further hosting announcements being made shortly) – across six months of highly-competitive and compelling action.

For both the women and the men, the ombined points from the 2014-15 & 2015-16 series seasons will be used to determine the rankings for the pools at the Olympic Games.

  • Visit the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series website and check out the latest results
  • Follow this link to find out where you can watch the action from the #Dubai7s 
  • You can join the conversation @WorldRugby7s #Dubai7s

Since its launch in 2012-13, the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series has become a hit on the annual rugby calendar with its winning blend of high-octane action, star players and vibrant festival atmosphere. It has been a major inspiration behind the record global increase in participation and interest in the women’s game with 1.7 million women and girls now regularly playing the game.

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The women’s game continues to go from strength to strength, reaching, engaging and inspiring new audiences across existing and emerging rugby markets and sevens has been at heart of the success story.

“With the Olympic Games just nine months away, never has a series start been so eagerly anticipated by the players, the teams and the global rugby family. Supported by title partners HSBC, we are looking forward to what promises to be the most competitive and exciting series to date showcasing the skill, speed and stars of women’s sevens.”

HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship and Events Giles Morgan added: “HSBC has been a committed, long term supporter of rugby around the world, but this feels like a pivotal moment for the game. The opportunity over the next 10 months is huge. World Rugby, unions and sponsors are committed to converting the opportunity. The gold medal for rugby will be to use Rio 2016 as a catalyst to drive even greater growth, participation and engagement in the game.”‎

New Zealand head into the series as defending champions after a thrilling 2014-15 campaign, but with the lure of Olympic gold driving forward performance, the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series promises to be the most competitive and compelling to date.

Canada captain Jen Kish said: “This is the biggest year in sevens history and we are so excited to be a part of it. Now that we’ve secured our place at the Olympic Games in Rio, we can look forward to what will be a very exciting journey over the next nine months.

“The series is getting tougher every year and there’s very little between the top sides. We know that there is added exposure and interest this year but we’re ready for it, and we can’t wait to get the season kicked off.”

In rugby’s biggest year, the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series looks set to reach and inspire new audiences around the globe with licensed broadcasters set to deliver the thrill-a-minute action to more than 80 territories worldwide, while World Rugby’s websites will operate in four languages for the first time, bringing fans closer to the action online and in conversation. With 25 million video views and an engaged facebook community of 30 million, the sevens social community looks set to expand during 2015-16.

Report courtesy of World Rugby