Rugby Canada and the Canada Sevens Bid Committee have successfully landed the rights to host the World Rugby Seven Series, a circuit of international rugby tournaments played around the globe, at B.C. Place Stadium on an annual basis.
The first tournament in Vancouver will be held in March 2016 and a span of two days over a weekend involving sixteen of the world’s top men’s rugby sevens teams. The rugby variety is played with only seven players per side, as opposed to the usual fifteen, and has a shorter duration than the traditional match. It holds a strong following in parts of Asia, Europe, Australia, UAE, South Africa and New Zealand.
“Vancouver is a world renowned event location and a city with a tremendous track record of hosting incredible events, like the 2010 Olympic Winter Games,” says Bernard Lapasset, the chairman of World Rugby. “Its inclusion within a stellar Series hosting line-up, is great for players, great for fans and great for the ongoing prosperity and development of rugby in Canada and around the globe.”
The host cities for the Series’ over the past few years were Gold Coast (Australia), Dubai (U.A.E.), Port Elizabeth (South Africa), Wellington (New Zealand), Las Vegas (U.S.A.), Hong Kong (China), Tokyo (Japan), Glasgow (Scotland), and London (England). However, it is rumoured that Tokyo, Las Vegas and Glasgow have been removed from their designation as host cities for future tournaments: the full itinerary of circuit host cities will be announced next month.
Canada’s bid submission was announced last summer and is supported by the City of Vancouver, both provincial and federal governments as well as over fifty other Canadian corporations and organizations. Amongst the currently known host cities and stadiums, with 54,000 seats Vancouver’s B.C. Place will be one of the Series’ largest stadiums. A new synthetic playing surface, approved by both FIFA and World Rugby, will be installed at the stadium in time for this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Canada kicked off the IRB Sevens World Series on the Gold Coast in early October, bringing home the shield! Meanwhile, new head coach Liam Middleton still waits in visa purgatory. Kieran Crowley is acting head coach until Canadian immigration grants a working visa to Middleton.
Round 1 Australia (Gold Coast) 11-12 October 2014
Round 2 Dubai 5-6 December 2014
Round 3 South Africa (Port Elizabeth) 13-14 December 2014
Round 4 New Zealand (Wellington) 6-7 February 2015
Round 5 USA (Las Vegas) 13-15 February 2015
Round 6 Hong Kong 27-29 March 2015
Round 7 Japan (Tokyo) 4-5 April 2015
Round 8 Scotland (Glasgow) 9-10 May 2015
Round 9 England (London) 16-17 May 2015