There’ll be no more Kippax cameos for women’s Sevens at the Sydney 7s, with a format overhaul for 2018.
The third iteration of the tournament has been moved back a week, kicking off on Australia Day 2018, with men’s and women’s competitions running concurrently over three days.
In 2017, Australia’s Rio gold medal-winning Sevens women played their Cup quarter-final on the outside field, while lower-profile men’s matches went on in Allianz, under a pre-existing tournament contract.
The short turnaround between the New Zealand and Australia World Series legs was cited as a reason why the men couldn’t play over three days, but that has changed as well.
Sydney has swapped with the New Zealand leg, now to be held in Hamilton, meaning the men’s tournament can start a day earlier.
Both men’s and women’s finals will then take place on the biggest stage in a day three that will showcase the world’s top sides.
It is believed to be the first World Series tournament to make the structure concurrent, with most playing men’s and women’s in two-day tournaments, with an overlap on the middle day.
Sydney has embraced the HSBC Sydney 7s with open arms with the tournament going from success to success over the last two years.
“We’re delighted to be integrating the tournament into three days for both the Men’s and Women’s legs of the World Series,” he said.
“We’re grateful to World Rugby for working with us to make this a reality as it’s something we always hoped would eventuate, from when we first started the conversations about hosting a women’s tournament in Sydney.
“It’ll be great to see our Aussie men and women on equal footing at Allianz Stadium.”
Adam Marshall, NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, said the re-scheduling would be a good move.
“The Sydney 7s will be bigger and better than ever in 2018, set to be played on the Australia Day long weekend,” he said.
“Thousands of domestic and international visitors will travel to Sydney for the event, providing a massive boost to the local visitor economy.
“The NSW Government is proud to have secured this event for Sydney, and I can’t wait to see this festival of rugby grow even more next year.”
The 2018 Sydney Sevens is the third in a four-year deal for the Australian tournament to be held in Sydney, after moving from the Gold Coast ahead of the 2015-16 season.