In October 2013 the IRB announced details of a new promotion / relegation structure for the Series.
From the 2013/14 season a two-stage promotion and relegation process comes into effect.
Promotion to core team status for the 2014/15 campaign will be decided at round seven of the upcoming 2013/14 Series, the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, where 12 regional qualifiers will battle for the one promotion place on offer in a separate 12-team competition.
Relegation from core team status will be decided at the end of the season, with the bottom-ranked of the 15 current core teams* after round nine, the Marriott London Sevens, losing their ever-present status for the 2014/15 campaign.
The new format is in line with the IRB Sevens Plan developed in partnership with the IRB's Member Unions and approved by the IRB Council and reflects the IRB's mission to deliver a pathway that ensures that all Member Unions have a transparent and merit-based opportunity to participate in the HSBC Sevens World Series.
* HSBC Sevens World Series 2013/14 core teams: Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Kenya, New Zealand, Portugal, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, USA, Wales
Teams qualified from regional competition to compete for Series promotion in Hong Kong:
Africa (CAR): Tunisia, Zimbabwe
Asia (ARFU): Hong Kong, Japan
Europe (FIRA): Italy, Russia
Oceania (FORU): American Samoa, Cook Islands
North America & Caribbean (NACRA): Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago
South America (CONSUR): TBC