Paris return on HSBC Sevens World Series confirmed

Sevens rugby will return to Stade Jean-Bouin in the French capital from 2016 after a nine-year stint in Edinburgh and Glasgow

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff

World Rugby have confirmed that the Paris Sevens will return to the HSBC Sevens World Series circuit from 2015/16.

The new round, which take place for the next four seasons, will be held at the 20,000-capacity Stade Jean-Bouin in south-west Paris, the home of Top 14 club Stade Français, which hosted the Women’s Rugby World Cup final last summer.

I have no doubt that the Paris Sevens will inspire new audiences and participants, underscore Paris’s credentials as a major event host and contribute to the continued strong growth of the game around the world.

Bernard Lapasset

France hosted a round of the globetrotting event in Bordeaux (2004) and Paris (2005 and 2006), before losing out to Scotland for the next nine years.

But with rugby sevens due set to become an Olympic sport at Rio 2016, many countries are prepared to increase their funding for the sport – something Scotland is unable to match with the country represented at the Olympics as part of Team GB.

The French Rugby Federation’s commitment to growing the abbreviated form of the game alongside its ever-popular Top 14 and other international rugby programmes, as well as the lure of all that a Paris has to offer, has convinced World Rugby to dispense with the birthplace of the sevens rugby and continue its commitment to developing markets.

“With excitement increasing ahead of Rio 2016, the World Rugby Sevens Series is going from strength to strength, proving a hit with fans, broadcasters and sponsors around the globe with its winning blend of compelling and competitive action, global destinations and festival atmosphere,” Lapasset said.

“Paris is one of the world’s major tourism destinations and has sport at its heart and its inclusion within a superb line-up of iconic global locations is exciting for players and fans and underscores the strength of the rugby sevens brand in the global sporting marketplace.

“I have no doubt that the Paris Sevens will inspire new audiences and participants, underscore Paris’s credentials as a major event host and contribute to the continued strong growth of the game around the world.”

The news of the move first surfaced in October 2014, but World Rugby chose to announce other changes on the series long before finally confirming the decision to return to France on the eve of the Marriott London Sevens, which is the final round on this season’s circuit.

Over the next four seasons, the goal is for this tournament to become the not-to-be-missed event in French rugby.

Pierre Camou

While the dates of next season’s calendar are still to be confirmed, the Paris Sevens is expected to slot into the penultimate round previously hosted by Scotland with England retaining its prestigious position as the final round of the series.

French Rugby Federation president Pierre Camou believes that the tournament can be one of the must-watch in France’s rugby calendar.

“Hosting the best teams in the world is a fantastic opportunity to promote rugby sevens in France,” Camou said.

“Our objective is to make this tournament a rugby sevens flagship which will attract new fans for rugby.

“Over the next four seasons, the goal is for this tournament to become the not-to-be-missed event in French rugby.”

Other developments for the 2015/16 World Series sees the Australian leg move to Sydney from Gold Coast, with the South African round moving to Cape Town from Port Elizabeth.

Joining Glasgow in dropping off the circuit is the Japanese round in Tokyo, with Singapore chosen in its stead, while Canada will also join the series with a tournament in Vancouver to take the number of rounds up to 10.

The other venues on the circuit are expected to remain unchanged.

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