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 Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.