IRB announces dates for Olympic qualifying season of men's Sevens World Series

The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced the dates for the HSBC Sevens World Series 2014/15, which has gained in significance with the recent announcement that the top four-ranked nations will qualify from it directly for the Olympic Games in 2016.

The 16th edition of the record-breaking Series will visit the same nine countries as the current 2013/14 season with two changes to the order of rounds. The event in the USA will be played the weekend after New Zealand’s, and Japan’s tournament will follow on from Hong Kong.

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "With the World Series now confirmed as a key part of Olympic qualifying for Rio 2016, we are delighted to have nine such strong tournaments showcasing these world class athletes and the strength of global Sevens competition.

"Rugby Sevens is growing all the time and its Olympic credentials are helping to forge new markets and interest around the world, in turn broadening the international landscape for the game of Rugby.

"Throughout this 2013/14 Series we are once again seeing an avid fan base flocking to support and watch these spectacular events, and mirroring the vibrancy and youthfulness of the rugby players on the pitch. We are all already looking forward with great anticipation to next season."

We are all already looking forward with great anticipation to next season.

IRB HSBC Sevens World Series 2014/15

Round 1Australia (Gold Coast)11-12 Oct. 2014
Round 2Dubai5-6 Dec. 2014
Round 3South Africa (Port Elizabeth)13-14 Dec. 2014
Round 4New Zealand (Wellington)6-7 Feb. 2015
Round 5U.S.A. (Las Vegas)13-15 Feb. 2015
Round 6Hong Kong27-29 March 2015
Round 7Japan (Tokyo)4-5 April 2015
Round 8Scotland (Glasgow)9-10 May 2015
Round 9EnglandLondon