The HSBC Sevens World Series

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, consisting of ten tournaments, is held at different locations around the world. In these tournaments, 15 national sevens teams compete with each other for series points. At the end of the season, the overall champion is decided on the basis of the points accumulated in each of the ten events. In the 2015-16 series, five new destinations – Cape Town, Vancouver, Singapore, Sydney and Paris – have been added to the series. Further, many of the teams competing in 2015-16 have qualified for the sevens’ debut at the Olympic Games scheduled to be held later this year in Rio.

History in Brief

The World Sevens Series was held for the very first time in 1999-2000 with a view to set up an elite-level competition between rugby playing nations and as a commercially viable product for World Rugby. From 2010, the series was renamed as HSBC Sevens World Series as the tournament was sponsored by HSBC, a banking group. From the 2015-16 season onwards, it is referred to as HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

From the 2012-13 season, relegation and promotion, instead of the ever-present status, has come into effect. In the last season, Japan was relegated and Russia was promoted.

New Zealand has been dominating the Series right from 1999-2000, winning the first six titles continuously. In all, New Zealand has won the series 11 times out of the 14 tournaments that have been held so far. Fiji won the title in 2005-05 as well as in 2014-15, South Africa was the winners in 2008-09 and Samoa won it in 2009-10.

In the 2015–16 season, the circuit consists of 10 tournaments held in 10 countries, across 5 of the 6 populated continents. Events are to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Cape Town, South Africa; Wellington, New Zealand; Sydney, Australia; Las Vegas, United States; Vancouver, Canada; Hong Kong; Singapore; Paris, France; and London, England.

Core Teams

For each season, 15 core teams are announced based on their performances in the previous tournaments. The core teams participate in all of the tournaments held during the season. The core teams for the 2015-16 season, selected through the designated promotion/relegation process, are: Argentina, Canada, England, Australia, Fiji, France, New Zealand, Kenya, Samoa, Portugal, South Africa, Scotland, the U.S., Wales and Russia. Till the 2011–12 series, there were only 12 core teams. For the 2012-13 season, it was expanded to 15 with the three additional teams being determined through a 12-team qualifying tournament.


The Sevens series is actually rugby union’s stripped-down version. Each side is allowed to have only seven players and the game is played on a normal field. Games are of shorter duration and last for only seven to ten minutes in each half. The game tends to be extremely fast-paced and higher-scoring compared to the 15-a-side format. The rules are also much simpler and it allows players to perform superb feats. Traditionally, Sevens tournament is conducted in the two-day format.

The teams are split into four pools. Within the pool, the teams play round-robin matches. Points are awarded as follows:

  • Win – 3 points
  • Draw – 2 points
  • Loss – 1 point
  • No-show – 0

If there is tie after the pool matches, the winner is decided on the basis of tiebreakers as follows:

    Tied teams head-to-head results

  • Points scored/allowed during pool matches
  • Tries scored/allowed during pool matches
  • Points scored in the pool matches
  • Coin toss

In each tournament, there are four trophies to be won. They are the Cup (overall tournament champion wins this trophy), Plate, Bowl and Shield in descending order of prestige. Trophies are awarded after knockout matches.

The two teams at the top in each pool compete for the Cup. The quarterfinal losers compete for the Plate. The teams that finish third and fourth place in each pool compete for the Bowl. Finally, the losing quarter finalists of the Bowl compete for the Shield.

IRB Sevens

HSBC Sevens World Series 2014/15

Round 1 Australia (Gold Coast) 11-12 Oct 2014
Round 2 Dubai 5-6 Dec 2014
Round 3 South Africa (Port Elizabeth) 13-14 Dec 2014
Round 4 New Zealand (Wellington) 6-7 Feb 2015
Round 5 USA (Las Vegas) 13-15 Feb 2015
Round 6 Hong Kong 27-29 Mar 2015
Round 7 Japan (Tokyo) 4-5 Apr 2015
Round 8 Scotland (Glasgow) 9-10 May 2015
Round 9 England (London) 16-17 May 2015

IHSBC Sevens World Series wall of trophies

In the 15 years that these series have been played, New Zealand have won all of them except 3.

1999/00 – New Zealand
2000/01 – New Zealand
 – New Zealand
2002/03 – New Zealand
2003/04 – New Zealand
2004/05 – New Zealand
2005/06 – Fiji
2006/07 – New Zealand
2007/08 – New Zealand
2008/09 – South Africa
2009/10 – Samoa
 – New Zealand
 – New Zealand
 – New Zealand
2013/14 – New Zealand

Thank you to our Partners


HSBC is a British multinational bank. Their company headquarter is in London. Counting by assets HSBC is one of the fourth largest banks in the world. Their assets are estimated over $2.67 trillion. HSBC has long been the main sponsors of the World Rugby Sevens Series and this event wouldn’t been possible without their support.


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