World Rugby Women's Sevens Series

The World Rugby Women's Sevens Series, is a series of international rugby sevens tournaments for women's national teams run by World Rugby. The inaugural series was held in 2012–13 as the successor to the IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup held the previous season.[1] The competition has been sponsored by banking group HSBC since 2015.[2]

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2021–22 World Rugby Women's Sevens Series
World Rugby Sevens Series logo.png
Logo since 2016
FormerlyIRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup
SportRugby union
Founded2012; 9 years ago (2012)
No. of teams12
Most recent
 New Zealand (2019–20)
Most titles New Zealand (6 titles)
TV partner(s)List of broadcasters
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toChallenger Series

The series, the women's counterpart to the World Rugby Sevens Series, provides elite-level women's competition between rugby nations. As with the men's Sevens World Series, teams compete for the title by accumulating points based on their finishing position in each tournament.


The first 2012–13 series consisted of four tournaments on three continents. The first two events were hosted by the United Arab Emirates (specifically Dubai) and the United States, both of which host events in the men's version. The other two events were hosted by China and the Netherlands.

For the second series in 2013–14, five tournaments took place; a sixth had initially been announced, but never materialized. All nations that hosted events in 2012–13 hosted in the second season, with the added event hosted by Brazil.[3]

The series expanded to six events for 2014–15. The Dubai, Brazil, USA, and Netherlands events remained on the schedule. China was not on the 2014–15 schedule. New rounds of the series were launched in Canada (specifically in Greater Victoria) and London.[4]

Logo 2015–16

Initially, the 2015–16 series was announced with only four events, with London and the Netherlands dropping from the schedule, but a fifth event was eventually added, hosted by France. Events in Australia and Japan were added in 2016–17. With the USA hosting the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens, the USA was not on the 2017–18 schedule.[5]

The USA Women's Sevens returned to the schedule for the 2018–19 series, but the event was moved within the season to become the opening event. The same season saw three events move to new locations.[6] First, the USA event moved from Las Vegas to the Denver suburb of Glendale, Colorado. The Australian Women's Sevens, as well as the country's corresponding event in the men's Sevens Series, moved within Sydney from Sydney Football Stadium to Sydney Showground Stadium. This was necessary because the Football Stadium was demolished, with an entirely new stadium to be built on the same site.[7] Finally, the France Women's Sevens, originally set for Paris, was moved to Biarritz, with the date also being moved forward two weeks from its original schedule. This change was promoted by both World Rugby and the French Rugby Federation (FFR) as "enabl[ing] the FFR to maximise the visibility, attendance and impact of hosting the final round of the record-breaking series."[8]


Current eventsEdit

The World Rugby Women's Sevens Series expanded to eight tournaments in 2019–20. From 2020 to 2022, however, several of these events had to be cancelled due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.[9][10]


  Events added for the 2021–22 season

  Events dropped for the 2021–22 season
Event Stadium (Capacity) City Joined[a]
  Dubai[b] The Sevens (50,000) Dubai 2012–13
The Sevens (50,000) Dubai 2021–22
  South Africa Cape Town Stadium (55,000) Cape Town 2019–20
  New Zealand FMG Stadium Waikato (25,800) Hamilton 2019–20
Estadio Ciudad (10,816) Malaga 2021–22
Estadio de La Cartuja (60,000) Seville 2021–22
  Australia Bankwest Stadium (30,000) Sydney 2016–17
  Hong Kong[d] Hong Kong Stadium (40,000) Hong Kong 2019–20
  Canada Westhills Stadium (6,000) Langford (Victoria) 2014–15
  USA Infinity Park (5,000) Glendale (Denver) 2012–13
  France Stade Jean-Bouin (20,000) Paris 2015–16
  1. ^ Refers to the first event hosted by that country, not necessarily at the current site.
  2. ^ The 2021 Dubai Sevens is being played as two back-to-back events on 26–27 November 2021 and 3–4 December 2021.[9]
  3. ^ The inaugural Spain Sevens is being played as two back-to-back events in Malaga and Seville during January 2022.[11]
  4. ^ The 2022 Hong Kong Sevens, originally scheduled for April, was postponed until November to be the opening tournament of the 2022–23 season.[10]

Former hosts of current eventsEdit

Event Stadium (Capacity) City First held Last held
  Australia Sydney Football Stadium [a] Sydney 2016–17 2017–18
Sydney Showground Stadium [b] Sydney 2018–19
  France Stade Gabriel Montpied Clermont-Ferrand 2015–16 2016–17
Parc des Sports Aguiléra Biarritz 2018–19
  USA BBVA Stadium [c] Houston 2012–13
Fifth Third Bank Stadium Kennesaw (Atlanta) 2013–14 2015–16
Sam Boyd Stadium Whitney (Las Vegas) 2016–17[d]
  1. ^ Most recently known for sponsorship reasons as Allianz Stadium; demolished and in process of replacement by a new stadium on the same site.
  2. ^ Known for sponsorship reasons as Spotless Stadium when it hosted the series in 2018–19.
  3. ^ Known as BBVA Compass Stadium when it hosted the series in 2012–13.
  4. ^ United States was not included the 2017–18 women's series due to its hosting of the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens instead (although it did host the corresponding men's Sevens Series event in that season).

Event on hiatusEdit

Event Stadium (Capacity) City Joined[a]
  Japan Mikuni World Stadium Kitakyushu (15,066) Kitakyushu 2016–17
  1. ^ Refers to the first event hosted by that country, not necessarily at the current site.

Previous eventsEdit

Event Stadium (Capacity) City Joined Ended
  China Guangzhou University City Stadium (50,000) Guangzhou 2012–13 2013–14
  São Paulo Arena Barueri (35,000) Barueri (São Paulo) 2013–14 2015–16
  London Twickenham Stoop (14,800) London 2014–15
  Netherlands NRCA Stadium (10,000) Amsterdam 2012–13 2014–15


Unlike the men's Sevens Series, which has enjoyed title sponsorship by banking giant HSBC in recent years, the Women's Sevens Series did not have a title sponsor until 2015–16. HSBC is now the title sponsor of both the men's and women's series.

Historical resultsEdit

Results by seasonEdit

Summary of the top six placegetters for each series:

Series Season Events   Champion   Second    Third  Fourth Fifth Sixth
I 2012–13 4  
New Zealand

(74 pts)
United States
II 2013–14 5  
New Zealand

(96 pts)
III 2014–15 6  
New Zealand

(108 pts)
United States
IV 2015–16 5  

(94 pts)
New Zealand
United States
V 2016–17 6  
New Zealand

(116 pts)
United States
VI 2017–18 5  

(92 pts)
New Zealand
United States
VII 2018–19 6  
New Zealand

(110 pts)
United States
VIII 2019–20  5 [a]  
New Zealand

(96 pts)
United States
The 2020–21 season was cancelled due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.[13]

Season placings by teamEdit

Tally of top six placings in the series for each team, updated after the most recent 2019–20 season:

Team Champ­ion Runner​-up Third Fourth Top-3 Apps Top-6 Apps
  New Zealand 6 2 8 8
  Australia 2 3 1 1 6 8
  Canada 1 6 1 7 8
  England 1 4 1 5
  United States 1 1 1 7
  France 1 1 1 5
  Fiji 1 1 1
  Russia 5
  Spain 1


  1. ^ Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the three remaining rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020, scheduled for Langford, Paris, and Hong Kong, were cancelled.[12]


Rugby sevens is a version of rugby union, invented in Scotland in the 19th century, with seven players each side on a normal-sized field. Games are much shorter, generally lasting only seven minutes each half, and tend to be very fast-paced, open affairs. The game is quicker and higher-scoring than 15-a-side rugby and the rules are simpler, which explains part of its appeal. It also gives players the space for superb feats of individual skill. Sevens is traditionally played in a two-day tournament format.

The women's series features 12 teams in each tournament. The remaining participants are invited on the basis of regional tournament rankings.[14]

Each tournament uses a format similar to that of the men's series, adjusted for the lower number of teams, with pool play followed by three separate knockout tournaments.

Core teamsEdit

Prior to the inaugural season, a group of "core teams" that are guaranteed places in all series events was announced. This concept is taken directly from the men's series. Unlike the men's series, which features 15 core teams as of the 2012–13 season, the women's series began with only six.

For the 2013–14 series, the number of core teams was increased to eight, all reached the quarter final from the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens:[3]

Brazil was invited to participate in all events for the 2013–14 series. This was part of an IRB initiative to help jump-start women's rugby development in the country, which is set to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.[3]

For the 2014–15 series, the number of core teams increased to 11, and qualification was extensively revamped, changing to a system more similar to that currently used in the men's World Series. The top seven teams in the 2013–14 series retained core team status. Four additional core teams were determined in a 12-team qualifying tournament held in Hong Kong on 12–13 September 2014.[15] World Rugby did not initially announce full details of the qualification system for future series, but eventually determined that the top nine teams from the 2014–15 series would retain their status for 2015–16, with a world qualifier following in September 2015.[16]

Core teams – World Rugby Women's Sevens Series
  Australia  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
  Brazil  •  •  •
  Canada  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
  China  •  •
  England  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
  Fiji  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
  France  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
  Ireland  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
  Japan  •  •
  Netherlands  •
  New Zealand  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
  Russia  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
  South Africa  •
  Spain  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
  United States  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
Total 6[14] 8 11 11[17] 11 11 11 11 11

Player awards by seasonEdit

Season Rounds Most points Most tries Player of the Year
2012–13 4   Portia Woodman (105)   Portia Woodman (21)   Kayla McAlister
2013–14 5   Emilee Cherry (195)   Emilee Cherry (33)   Emilee Cherry
2014–15 6   Portia Woodman (?)   Portia Woodman (52)   Portia Woodman
2015–16 5   Ghislaine Landry (158)   Portia Woodman (24)   Charlotte Caslick[18]
2016–17 6   Ghislaine Landry (269)   Michaela Blyde (40)   Michaela Blyde
2017–18 5   Portia Woodman (215)   Portia Woodman (43)   Michaela Blyde
2018–19 5   Tyla Nathan-Wong (207)   Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (35)   Ruby Tui
2019–20 5   Alev Kelter (171)   Stacey Fluhler (31)  No award [19]
The 2020–21 season was cancelled due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.[13]

Points scheduleEdit

The overall winner of the series was determined by points gained from the standings across all events in the season.[20] The points schedule is similar to that of the men's Series, with the differences noted above.[21][22]

In Series V, 2016–17 the awards changed. At each event teams compete for gold, silver and bronze medals while lower ranked teams will contest a new Challenge Trophy competition.[23] In the first four Series teams played, after the pool stage, for a Cup (1st four teams), a Plate (second 4 teams) and a Bowl (last 4 teams)

Twelve teams competed at each event; nine being "core" teams, with three teams invited to participate in particular events (similar to previous women's series as well as the men's counterpart).

Place Status Points
  Cup winner and gold medalist 20
  Cup runner-up and silver medalist 18
  3rd-place play-off winner and bronze medalist 16
4 3rd-place play-off loser 14
5 5th-place play-off winner 12
6 5th-place play-off loser 10
7 7th-place play-off winner 8
8 7th-place play-off loser 6
9 9th-place play-off winner 4
10 9th-place play-off loser 3
11 11th-place play-off winner 2
12 11th-place play-off loser 1

Tie-breaking: Should teams finish equal on series points at the end of the season, the tiebreakers are the same as those in the men's series:[21]

  1. Overall scoring differential in the season.
  2. Total try count in the season.
  3. If neither produces a winner, the teams are tied.

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ "The History of Rugby Sevens". Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  2. ^ "HSBC partners with World Rugby for record-breaking sevens properties" (Press release). World Rugby. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Schedule announced for 2013/14 Women's Series" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Host cities announced for women's series" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Sevens Series 2018 to finish in Paris as women's dates confirmed". World Rugby. 29 September 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Schedule confirmed for HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019" (Press release). World Rugby. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Sydney 7s has a new home in 2019" (Press release). Rugby Australia. 25 May 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Biarritz to host HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series finale" (Press release). World Rugby. 19 December 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  9. ^ a b "World Rugby cancels Sevens events in Cape Town and Singapore". ESPN. 4 September 2021. Archived from the original on 4 September 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Hong Kong Sevens postponed again to November 2022". The Standard. 16 November 2021. Archived from the original on 16 November 2021.
  11. ^ "HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022 schedule unveiled". World Rugby. 12 October 2021.
  12. ^ "2020 Sevens series standings". Sevens.Rugby. 2020.
  13. ^ a b "HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series to double-up in Canada and Dubai". World Rugby. 3 September 2021. Archived from the original on 4 September 2021.
  14. ^ a b "IRB announces Women's Sevens World Series" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 4 October 2012. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  15. ^ "Women's Sevens Series places up for grabs" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  16. ^ "Team GB secure Olympic qualification as Canada claim Amsterdam Sevens" (Press release). World Rugby. 23 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  17. ^ "Japan and Ireland qualify for Women's Sevens Series" (Press release). World Rugby. 20 August 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  18. ^ "Caslick crowned Women's Sevens Player of the Year by World Rugby". The Daily Telegraph. 4 November 2016.
  19. ^ "World Rugby Awards Special Edition: Fans' Choice voting now open!". World Rugby. 15 October 2020. Archived from the original on 27 October 2020.
  20. ^ "Women's Sevens Series tournament rules". World Rugby. 2016. Archived from the original on 30 May 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  21. ^ a b "Women's Sevens Series Tournament Rules". World Rugby. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  22. ^ "IRB Sevens World Series: Rules". International Rugby Board. Archived from the original on 2 October 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2013.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  23. ^ "Men's and women's sevens winners to strike gold". World 3 October 2016.

External linksEdit