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World Rugby has announced an expanded HSBC Women’s Series for the next four-year cycle, featuring eight rounds for the first time.

There are currently just six stops on the women’s tour, including Langford, B.C. There were just five the previous season.

The men’s component of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will remain at 10 stops, with at least six of those combined with women’s events.

Dubai, Cape Town, New Zealand, Sydney, Hong Kong and Paris will play host to combined men’s and women’s sevens events from next season onward. North American events in Langford and Glendale, Colo., will remain as stand-alone competitions next season.

That could open the door for Vancouver to host both men’s and women’s competitions in the future although a tournament spokesman said no decision has been made beyond the 2020 event in Langford.

“There has been no determination on the format of the event in subsequent years and we are continuing work with World Rugby on all options moving forward,” Jamie Levchuk, managing director of HSBC Canada Sevens and Rugby Canada Events, said in an e-mail to The Canadian Press. “Ensuring that both events remain viable and successful is of paramount importance to Rugby Canada.”

Nine of the 10 existing men’s tournaments – Vancouver; Dubai; Cape Town; Hamilton, New Zealand; Sydney; Hong Kong; Singapore; London; and Paris – are set with the U.S. location (previously Las Vegas) to be confirmed at a later date.

The full 2019-20 schedule will be confirmed later this year.

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