World Rugby Women's Sevens Series

World Rugby Women's Sevens Series

World Rugby Women's Sevens Series
Current season, competition or edition:
2014–15 World Rugby Women's Sevens Series
Sport Rugby union
Founded 2012
No. of teams 12
Country Worldwide
Most recent champion(s)  New Zealand
Most titles  New Zealand (2)

The World Rugby Women's Sevens Series (Known as the IRB Women's Sevens World Series before the 2014-15 season) is a series of international rugby union sevens tournaments for women's national teams run by World Rugby. It debuted in the 2012–13 season as a successor for the IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup held in 2011-12.

The series, the women's counterpart to the HSBC Sevens World Series, is intended to provide elite-level women's competition between rugby nations and develop the Sevens game in advance of the creation of an Olympic sevens competition in 2016.

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 inaugural 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.[1]

The series expanded to six events for 2014–15. The Dubai, Brazil, USA, and Netherlands events remain on the schedule. China will not be on the 2014–15 schedule. New rounds of the series will be hosted by Canada (specifically in Greater Victoria) and London.[2]


  • Tournaments 1
    • Sponsorship 1.1
  • Seasons 2
  • Past tables 3
  • Format 4
  • Points schedule 5
  • See also 6
  • Notes and references 7
  • External links 8


The events for the first season were officially announced by the IRB (as World Rugby was then known) on 4 October 2012.[3]

IRB Women's Sevens World Series Itinerary (2012–13)
Country Stadium (Capacity) City Date Since
UAE (Dubai) The Sevens (50,000) Dubai 30 November – 1 December 2012 2012–13 Results
USA BBVA Compass Stadium (22,000) Houston 1-2 February 2013 2012–13 Results
China Guangzhou University City Stadium (50,000) Guangzhou 30-31 March 2013 2012–13 Results
Netherlands NRCA Stadium (10,000) Amsterdam 17-18 May 2013 2012–13 Results

For the 2013–14 season, one tournament was added, and one of the events from the inaugural season moved to a new site:

  • The new Brazil Women's Sevens was held at Arena Barueri in São Paulo (capacity 35,000).
  • The USA Women's Sevens moved from Houston to the Fifth Third Bank Stadium (capacity 8,300).

Details of the new events for 2014–15 are as follows:


Unlike the men's Sevens World Series, which enjoys title sponsorship by banking giant HSBC, the Women's Sevens World Series does not yet have a title sponsor.


Season Rounds Champion Top Scorer Most tries Player of the Year
2012–13 4  New Zealand Portia Woodman (105) Portia Woodman (21) Kayla McAlister
2013–14 5  New Zealand Emilee Cherry (195) Emilee Cherry (33) Emilee Cherry

Past tables


Sevens is a stripped-down 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, lasting only seven or ten 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 far 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.

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. The initial core teams were:[3]

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:[1]

 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.[1]

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.[4] The IRB has not yet determined full details of the qualification system for future series. Following the qualifying tournament, the core teams are:

Unlike the men's series, which features 16, 20, or 28 teams in each tournament, the women's series features 12 teams in each tournament. The remaining participants are invited on the basis of regional tournament rankings.[3]

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. World Rugby did not initially announce whether the women's series would follow the men's practice of conducting tournaments for multiple trophies of varying prestige. In the end, it chose to follow the men's practice, although with minor adjustments. Since each women's tournament has only 12 teams, as opposed to the 16 that compete for series points in all events of the men's series, the fourth-level Shield trophy is not contested in the women's series. Both series offer a Cup trophy to the overall winner, with lower-level Plate and Bowl trophies also contested.

One significant difference between tournament formats in the men's and women's series is that in the women's series, the losers of the Plate and Bowl semi-finals play in classification matches.[5] In the men's series, the only semi-final losers who play a classification match are those in the Cup tournament.[6]

Points schedule

The season championship will be determined by points earned in each tournament. The points schedule is similar to that of the men's Series, with the differences noted in the previous section.[5][6]

Status Placement Points
Cup winner 1st 20
Cup runner-up 2nd 18
Cup third-place play-off winner 3rd 16
Cup third-place play-off loser 4th 14
Plate winner 5th 12
Plate runner-up 6th 10
Plate seventh-place play-off winner 7th 8
Plate seventh-place play-off loser 8th 6
Bowl winner 9th 4
Bowl runner-up 10th 3
Bowl 11th-place play-off winner 11th 2
Bowl 11th-place play-off loser 12th 1

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:[5]

  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 also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c "Schedule announced for 2013/14 Women's Series" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Host cities announced for women's series" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "IRB announces Women's Sevens World Series" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Women's Sevens Series places up for grabs" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "IRB Women's Sevens World Series: Rules". International Rugby Board. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "IRB Sevens World Series: Rules". International Rugby Board. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 

External links

  • Official website