The International Rugby Board has announced the inclusion of São Paulo as a host city of an expanded IRB Women’s Sevens World Series for 2013/14.
The new series is trying to build on last year's debut, with six rounds, five of which have been confirmed. The USA stop has been moved from Houston in the first weekend of February in 2013 to Atlanta in the second weekend in February in 2014.
The 2013-2014 World Series kicks off with Dubai (November 28-30), then Atlanta (February 15-16), São Paulo (February 21-22), Guangzhao (April 4-6) and Amsterdam (May 16-17).
The IRB will confirm the destination of the sixth leg in due course, following strong interest from Member Unions in hosting a round of the showcase series.
“This announcement caps a great year for Women’s Sevens and follows an outstanding and highly competitive Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow and a strong inaugural IRB Women’s Sevens World Series,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset. “The appetite for hosting our marquee women’s events has never been higher and the inclusion of São Paulo in an expanded IRB Women’s Sevens World Series reflects the incredible growth of the women’s Game globally as well as tremendous excitement in Brazil about the addition of Rugby Sevens to the Rio 2016 program.”
With brazil having a highly-ranked women's 7s team, and hosting the 2016 Olympic Games, the country's hosting of a stop on the Series seemed logical.
"It's essential that Brazil gets to play more rugby," added Brazil women's captain Julia Sardá. "As we will host the next Olympic Games. Having the opportunity to play against the best teams in the world with family and friends watching is amazing and we hope to show to the world that Brazilian rugby is evolving."
Rugby World Cup Sevens and 2012/13 series champions New Zealand will face tough opposition as they set out to defend their crown. After the debut series with invitational teams, eight teams have earned core team status via reaching the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 quarter-finals and will compete across all six rounds.
2013/2014 CORE TEAMS:
AUSTRALIA, CANADA, ENGLAND, IRELAND, NEW ZEALAND, RUSSIA, SPAIN, USA
IRB Head of Competitions and Performance Mark Egan said: "Our key strategic objective is to expand the global competition platform for the top women's sevens teams. The success of the 2012/13 series and the outstanding level of competition that we saw at RWC Sevens in Moscow shows that the teams are ready for an expanded series."
Women's Sevens World Series 2013/14:
First leg: Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 28-30, 2013
Second leg: Atlanta, Georgia, USA, February 15-16, 2014
Third leg: Arena Barueri, São Paulo, Brazil, February 21-22, 2014
Fourth leg: Guangzhao University Town Stadium, Guangzhao, China, April 4-6 2014
Fifth leg: National Rugby Centrum, Amsterdam, Netherlands. May 16-17, 2014
Final leg: TBC