New Zealand are defending both titles, while South Africa and Australia will be looking to repeat their victories at The Sevens Stadium in December. The new format features seven regular season matches and a Grand Final with promotion and relegation at stake. The action begings on Saturday at 09:00 local time (GMT+4) on Saturday, with the final scheduled for Sunday at 19:53 local time.

The Emirates Dubai 7s, the largest sports and entertainment festival in the Middle East, has been a cornerstone of the HSBC SVNS since its inception in 1999. It promises excitement across two fields with 64 matches and two days of competition. The pools and schedule were announced on Tuesday.

In the men's competition, defending champions New Zealand (who won in Sydney, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Toulouse last year) lead Pool A alongside Canada, Cape Town 2022 champions Samoa, and Emirates Dubai 7s defending champions South Africa, in a repeat of the recent Rugby World Cup final in Paris.

Argentina, winners of last season's Hamilton, Vancouver and London tournaments, are in Pool B and will face Spain, Australia, and Ireland in Dubai. Double Olympic champions Fiji are in Pool C with France, USA, and Great Britain.

In the women's competition, New Zealand's 'Black Ferns', who won six out of seven tournaments to claim their seventh series title, headline Pool A alongside Fiji, Great Britain, and the 2023 World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series champions South Africa, who join the series this season.

Australia, the defending Emirates Dubai 7s champions, will take on Brazil, Ireland, and Japan in Pool B, while last season's overall bronze medallists, the USA, face France, Spain, and their North American rivals Canada in Pool C.

South Africa emerged victorious in in the men's competition in Dubai last year. © Getty Images.
South Africa emerged victorious in in the men's competition in Dubai last year. © Getty Images.

With the 2024 Paris Olympics on the horizon, the action at the HSBC SVNS will be intense from start to finish. World Rugby's revides competition format is designed to deliver more excitement and entertainment to Rugby Sevens fans than ever ever.

Under this new model, the HSBC SVNS 2024 will consist of seven regular season events and a Grand Final. The top eight teams, based on cumulative series points at the end of Round 7 in Singapore, will secure the opportunity to compete in the new 'winner takes all' Grand Final in Madrid, where the champions of HSBC SVNS 2024 for both Men's and Women's Champions will be crowned.

Madrid will also host the high stakes relegation play-offs, where the ninth to twelfth placed teams will join the top four teams from the World Rugby Sevens Challenger. The top four placed teams will secure a place in the HSBC SVNS 2025.

World Rugby's Chief Competitions and Performance Officer, Nigel Cass, expressed his excitement: "We are thrilled to kick off what promises to be an exciting year for Rugby Sevens at the Emirates Dubai 7s in December in front of a packed house of knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and passionate rugby fans."

"With a new and exciting format featuring promotion, relegation and a winner-takes-all competition at the Grand Final in Madrid , we know the action will be intense from the opening match on Saturday morning to the final whistle on Sunday evening," he added.