The men’s and women’s captains were on the beach at Malagueta in Malaga on Wednesday ahead of the historic first-ever HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event to take place in Spain, taking place from January 21-23 at the Estadio Ciudad de Malaga, Malaga 7s.
- HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series returns as men’s and women’s teams get ready for action in Malaga in the historic first Series event to be hosted in Spain
- South African men and Australian women lead the Series standings after wins in the opening two rounds in Dubai
- Core Series teams from New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa cannot travel to Spain, so invitation teams Germany and Jamaica men, and Belgium and Poland women will compete
- Three intense days of action begin on Friday, January 21 at 09:00 GMT+1 and fans can discover where to watch the action live here
The men’s and women’s captains soaked up the sun on Malaga’s Malagueta Beach on Wednesday ahead of Spain’s historic first-ever HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event, taking place January 21-23 at the Estadio Ciudad de Malaga .
The men of South Africa and the women of Australia will rise to the top of the Series in a confident mood, following their extensive consecutive wins in the first two rounds of the Series in Dubai at the end of 2021.
Australian women’s captain Demi Hayes said: “We’re very confident when we got out of Dubai, but here in Spain there’s another tournament and a new place we’ve never played before, so we’re really excited to be there.” to go and show rugby sevens. The preparation has been good and we have had one focus to come here and take it game by game.”
South African captain Siviwe Soyizwapi said: “It’s great to play in a new venue to mix it up a bit. Malaga is a great beach town to be in. We are here to do our job and perform it to the best of our ability and we are very excited to get back to work.”
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Men’s teams from England, Scotland and Wales and England women will take the field for the first time in the 2022 Series after returning to play as separate home countries after competing jointly as Great Britain during the Olympic year in 2021.
Meanwhile, invited teams in the form of men from Germany and Jamaica and women from Belgium and Poland will have the chance to shine at the highest level as teams from New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa were unfortunately unable to travel to Spain due to the lingering effects of the pandemic.
Fiji’s men’s and women’s teams were unable to travel to Malaga and have not been replaced, meaning opponents in their respective group matches will receive three match points for a “bye” and a score of 0-0 will be recorded for those games.
Play in the HSBC Spain Sevens – Malaga starts on Friday, January 21 at 09:00 local time (GMT+1) with a meeting in Group C for women between Russia and Brazil before France, the Olympic bronze medalists of Tokyo 2020, takes on against England.
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Host country Spain will face Dubai winners Australia, Ireland and Belgium in Pool A.
In the absence of Fiji, Pool B will see the invitational team Poland play against Canada and the US in the group stage.
The men’s competition starts after the first round of the women’s group game on day one, with Group D’s Kenya and Canada starting. The line-up in Pool D is completed by France and Wales.
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In Pool A, the Series leaders South Africa will face England and Scotland, with Fiji missing.
Pool B includes Germany, Australia, Ireland and Japan, while host nation Spain will face US, Jamaican and Tokyo 2020 Olympic bronze medalists Argentina in Pool C.
Day two of the tournament kicks off at 9:00 AM local time with the last of the women’s pool matches. The third and final day kicks off at 10am and features the Cup Final for both the men’s and women’s tournaments to determine the winners of the inaugural HSBC Spain Sevens in Malaga, before the teams move through Spain to Seville for the fourth round of the series on January 28-30.
Spain is a major emerging nation for rugby in both the sevens and 15s of the game. With both the men’s and women’s teams firmly established as core teams in the World Series, it’s exciting to see top tier rugby sevens come to Spain as the sport grows stronger across the country.
Spain captain Javier de Juan said: “It’s incredible for us to play a great tournament like the World Series at home for the first time. For us it’s like a dream. Rugby Sevens is really dynamic and fun to watch and I hope the Spanish fans will enjoy it.”
After outstanding men’s and women’s competitions at the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021, the Series continues to reach new fans. Independent research showed that the second Olympic appearance of Rugby Sevens is having a huge impact on the sport by engaging and inspiring new, younger and more diverse fans around the world, especially in emerging rugby countries, with 54 percent agreeing that the Olympics have increased their interest in the sport and 63 percent are watching sevens for the first time.
The health and well-being of all involved remains the top priority and our thanks and gratitude go to the Spanish Rugby Federation, the government authorities and all partners and stakeholders for their hard work and dedication to ensure the safe delivery of these events.
Rugby Sevens fans around the world can watch the action livestream on digital World Rugby platforms including: www.world.rugby, You Tube and Facebook in countries where there is no national broadcaster reporting the event. Find out where to watch here.
Tickets for the HSBC Spain Sevens in Malaga are available here.