The International Rugby Board has announced the dates for the eight events which comprise the 2009/10 IRB Sevens World Series, starting once again with the two events in Dubai and George, South Africa, in December 2009.
The Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens will kick off the 11th year of the Sevens World Series on 4-5 December at 'The Sevens', Dubai's purpose-built sporting venue which staged last year's event and the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens for both men and women in March.
A week later, the Emirates Airline South Africa Sevens follows on 11-12 December in George on the country's famous Garden Route.
The IRB Sevens World Series will visit five continents over a six month period and feature eight established Grand Prix style events, hosted by the same eight countries as the last three World Series. There is, however, one change to the schedule as Australia host the Adelaide Sevens the week before Hong Kong in March 2010.
"The 10th year of the Sevens World Series was a huge celebration of Rugby filled with exciting, explosive action, fiercely contested matches, world class athletes, packed stadia and hundreds of spectacular tries," said IRB Sevens Manager, Beth Coalter.
"As we embark on the second decade of the Sevens World Series, I am sure 2009/10 will be another massive year for the Game, and we look forward to seeing newly crowned champions, South Africa, defend their title for the first time in Dubai."
IRB Chairman, Bernard Lapasset said: "These are very exciting times for Rugby Sevens with the sport represented at the World Games in Kaohsiung this month, and the Commonwealth Games Sevens finishing the Sevens calendar in 2010. By the time the World Series kicks off in December, we will also know if Rugby Sevens is to be played at the 2016 Olympic Games.
"Sevens possesses Rugby's only World Series and it is our hope that the Game's global appeal, true competitiveness and popularity with fans, broadcasters and sponsors will mark it out as a discipline to truly enhance the Olympic movement," added Lapasset.
2009/10 IRB Sevens World Series schedule Dubai, UAE - 4-5 December 2009
George, South Africa - 11-12 December 2009
Wellington, New Zealand - 5-6 February 2010
USA - 13-14 February 2010 - venue TBC
Adelaide, Australia - 20-21 March 2010
Hong Kong - 26, 27, 28 March 2010
London, England - 22-23 May 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland - 29-30 May 2010
* The 2010 Commonwealth Games Sevens competition will be held in Delhi, India on 5-6 October 2010.
The WRU has teamed up with Crawshay's to tour Georgia in June. The side, which will be called the Crawshays WRU President's XV, will play Emerging Georgia twice, in a tour which supports the Welsh Government's efforts to grow relations between the two countries.
Wales Sevens are looking to re-group after a disappointing tournament last time out in South Africa. The next double leg in New Zealand and Las Vegas offers Gareth Williams a chance to redeem themselves.
Wales Women's head coach Rhys Edwards was at Llandovery to see the conclusion of an entertaining Women's Regional championship where any one of three teams were in contention for title glory on the last day of action.