About the Series

The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is one of the most dynamic global sporting events on the market, featuring the dynamism of sevens rugby, paired with a spectacle of entertainment and fan engagement that is second to none.

The Series in 2016-17 will include ten tournaments held around the world, in which 16 national sevens teams compete for World Series points at each round. The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is culminated with a champion being crowned at the end of the season based on total Series points. Vancouver hosted for the first time in 2016, where New Zealand proved victorious.

Each Series stop has the 16 teams divided into 4 even pools based on previous rankings. Day 1 of each tournament consists of round-robin play between pools. Day 2 will see the bottom two teams of each pool will contest in the Challenge Trophy competition, where the higher seeded teams will progress to the Cup competition and have the chance to win gold, silver, or bronze medals. This format aligns with the format of the Olympics.

The electricity of rugby sevens debuted at the Rio 2016 Olympics and kept the world on the edge of their seats, delivering a roller coaster of a tournament including big plays, unsung heroes, and overwhelming excitement. It concluded with an emphatic victory by the ‘Flying Fijians’, who brought their country its first ever gold medal.

There are 15 ‘core’ teams who participate at each round of the Series. The 2016-17 core includes: Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, Russia, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, USA, and Wales.

For more on promotion/relegation, please visit World Rugby for Series Qualifying information.

About the Game

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Sevens is on the rise internationally as the newest sport to be added to the Olympic roster, debuting in Rio 2016. Touted as one of the most exciting spectator sports on the market, Sevens is a knock-down, drag-out show of power, speed and agility featuring just seven players a-side covering a full-size rugby pitch. Scoring is frequent, and feats of extreme athleticism are jammed into every play of each short game. The best part is, you don’t have to know anything about rugby to fall in love with the spectacle, and it doesn’t take long to figure the game out if you try.

Sevens Rugby is a variant of rugby union featuring just seven players a-side, playing on a full-size field by much of the same rules as the original 15-player game. While a regular rugby union match lasts at least 80 minutes, a sevens match consists of two halves of seven minutes with a one-minute half-time break. The final of a competition can be played over two halves of ten minutes each, with a half-time break of two minutes.




  • Seven players per team compete on the field (compared to 15).
  • Each team gets five substitutes, with five interchanges (compared to 7 and 7).
  • Seven-minute halves (compared to 40-minute halves, in fifteen-a-side).
  • Shorter breaks, with two minute half-time (compared to ten minutes).
  • Matches tied after regulation time are continued into extra time, in 5-minute periods.
  • Conversion attempts are drop-kicked (instead of the option to place-kick).
  • Conversions must happen within 40 seconds of scoring a try (compared to 60 seconds).
  • Scrums include only three players per side (instead of eight players).
  • Kick-offs: the team which has just scored kicks off, (rather than the conceding team).
  • Yellow cards get a 2-minute suspension in the sin-bin (instead of 10 minutes) (yes, just like a powerplay!). Suspensions hurt more in Sevens than in Fifteens. Losing 1 man out of 7 opens up an incredible amount of space for their opponent.

Fan Experience


Nothing quite compares to the energy at a HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament.

Rugby aficionados and first-timers alike revel in the infectious spirit that is known to take over host cities like Hong Kong, Dubai and London. Spilling into the city streets, well-beyond the stadium, the party-like atmosphere and international celebration draws fans from near and far for a weekend-long festival.

The most curious (and hilarious) characteristic of Rugby Sevens is the ‘fancy-dress’ fun fans partake in at every stop along the tour. Costumes and characters from all walks of life emerge from closets painting a fantastical mosaic in stadium to feast your eyes. Vancouver 2017 is one party you don’t want to miss!



In honour of the First Nations, on whose territory the HSBC Canada Sevens was held, the tournament’s trophies and medallions pay tribute to the power of rugby with compelling symbols of native art related to the sea, land, mountain and sky.  As a valued partner of the tournament, Silver Wheaton’s (a Vancouver based precious metals streaming company) support has heavily contributed toward the creation of the tournament trophies.

The Cup is the trophy that remains in the host city, Vancouver and will be won by a new team each year. It is designed as a wolf, known to be a great team player and symbolizes perseverance and success.

In 2016, a second version of The Cup was designed as a killer whale, known as the guardian of the sea and a symbol of unity. It was won by New Zealand and taken home with them.

The trophies were hand carved out west coast cedar by talented First Nations artists (left to right) Corey Bulpitt (T’aakeit G’aayaa), Yul Baker (Walla-bossa-ma), Aaron Nelson Moody (Tawx’sin Yexwulla), and Rick Harry (Xwalacktun).

In 2017, the first medals were designed for the tournament by the Musqueam Nation. Each design represents the power of rugby and have a sacred meaning to the Musqueaum.

The gold medal was designed by Kelly Cannell, the silver by Debra Sparrow, and Chrystal Sparrow designed the bronze.



The HSBC Canada Sevens World Rugby Sevens tournament offers many unique sponsorship marketing and media opportunities for brands including:

  • Worldwide reach to over 387 million homes in over 145 countries via live international broadcast and webcast
  • Estimated potential audience reached – a record 900+ million – and that’s excluding international news, features and in-flight exposure!
  • Over 2.5 million viewers of online video content
  • Rugby is the fastest growing sport in North America, and second largest sport in the world
  • Rugby Sevens is on the rise, as the newest Olympic Sport, debuting at the Rio 2016 Games
  • Access to a passionate and brand loyal fan base with a global reach
  • Variety of sponsorship packages tailored to the needs of any brand

To learn more about these rich consumer engagement and hospitality opportunities, please contact us at partnerships@canadasevens.com.