‘World Rugby want seven other Dubais,’ organisers say ahead of expanded 2023 Sevens

‘World Rugby want seven other Dubais,’ organisers say ahead of expanded 2023 Sevens

Organisers of the Emirates Dubai Sevens say the newly expanded tournament is the template for which World Rugby want to expand the appeal of the sport.

The competition will again be the first of the rebranded, eight-leg HSBC SVNS world series when it takes place from December 1-3.

The National Day weekend event will have another new sport added. In recent years netball, cricket and cross-fit competitions have joined what was a rugby-only event for the best part of 50 years. A padel tournament will take place for the first time this year.

According to Simon Jelowitz, the head of sport operations for the Sevens, Dubai is setting an example for other legs on the series to follow.


Interviews with Emirates Rugby Sevens administrator Mathew Tait.
Antonie Robertson/The National

“World Rugby want seven other Dubais,” Jelowitz said. “That might sound a little big-headed, [but] they are saying that no longer can it just be a nine-hour festival of World Series rugby. There needs to be more about it.

“This model seems to be where World Rugby want to go. Hong Kong and Dubai are seen as the standard bearers for this kind of experience. Now the onus is on the other [tournaments] on the series doing that.”

There are nearly 5,000 players scheduled to take part across the sports, with 100,000 spectators expected to attend across the three days.

Rugby will still provide the largest number, with 2,916 to be involved. N

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