The pools and match schedule for next weekend's Vancouver 7s have been released by World Rugby.
The men’s Series competition sees the 12 teams divided into three pools of four teams, following the format used at the Olympic Games.
Pool A sees South Africa, who finished as 2020 Series runners-up after reaching the podium in four of the six events, drawn with Series core teams Kenya and Spain and invitational team Mexico.
In Pool B, Great Britain, who narrowly missed out on an Olympic medal after finishing fourth in Tokyo, will face Ireland and invitational teams Hong Kong and Jamaica.
Pool C includes the USA, Series runners-up in 2019, together with hosts Canada and invitational teams Germany and Chile.
The hosts will be looking to repeat their performance from the HSBC Canada Sevens 2020 in Vancouver, where they thrilled the home crowd to claim the bronze medal.
The women’s Fast Four tournament has Canada, Great Britain, the USA and Mexico participating.
Mexico men’s and women’s teams were added to the event following the late withdrawal of France’s teams due to COVID-19 related international travel logistics issues.
he women’s fast four competition format, which was previously successfully employed at the men’s Series event in Hamilton in 2019, will see all teams play each other before the top two play for gold and the other two teams compete for third place.
The women’s competition will get the action under way when Canada face the USA at 09:00 local time (GMT-7) on Saturday 18 September.
The men’s Series event begins with a Pool B encounter between Ireland and Hong Kong at 09:44 local time.
The last match of day one promises to be an exciting encounter as hosts Canada take on the USA in Pool C at 18:33 local time.
Day two begins with the first of the men’s quarter-finals kicking off at 09:20 and concludes with the women’s Fast Four final at 16:56 followed by the men’s final at 17:28 (all times local).
The Vancouver tournament will be followed by a second HSBC Canada Sevens event in Edmonton the following weekend, on 25-26 September.
The two rounds in Canada form the 2021 Series, with the Series title awarded in Edmonton.
Given the unique circumstances of the pandemic, there will be no relegation from the 2021 Series and the results will not contribute towards seedings for any other future events.
The complete HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022 schedule will be announced later this month.
By Reginald Chandar