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Was this garnering no interest in England and France? Interesting that those locations have received the chip from the calendar. Can't really say it's to target "summer vibes" but then keep Vancouver on the calendar.
 
Overall I think it's a great move; marketed right it should help increase exposure to the competition and sport overall. The final playoff event to determine a winner might be controversial, but from a fan and excitement perspective it's a great move. Surfing, with the WSL, went through the exact same format change a few years ago, where instead of a winner being determined solely based on points accumulated throughout the year, they instead switched to a finals day, where the top 5 surfers in each mens and womens surf heats, 5 against 4, winner against 3, winner against 2, and then the final. Lots of long-time supporters don't like it, but again, from an excitement/entertainment perspective, especially in getting outsiders to come to the sport and easily understand it, it was a smart move. Hopefully it works out for World Rugby.
 
Overall I think it's a great move; marketed right it should help increase exposure to the competition and sport overall. The final playoff event to determine a winner might be controversial, but from a fan and excitement perspective it's a great move. Surfing, with the WSL, went through the exact same format change a few years ago, where instead of a winner being determined solely based on points accumulated throughout the year, they instead switched to a finals day, where the top 5 surfers in each mens and womens surf heats, 5 against 4, winner against 3, winner against 2, and then the final. Lots of long-time supporters don't like it, but again, from an excitement/entertainment perspective, especially in getting outsiders to come to the sport and easily understand it, it was a smart move. Hopefully it works out for World Rugby.
I am even more lost about 7s than usual? Is the final round going to be seeded based on points gained in the previous rounds? Or are previous rounds only used to identify the 9th to 12th places that will go in the relegation tournament. If so, I probably would have preferred double or treble points in the final round.

Its notable when the Scottish, Welsh and English unions do not care about something (such as 7s, where they do not run their own teams) we see a format where up to 33% of the top division can be relegated in one year! A far cry from the ring fenced mentality of XVs.

I know some nations are sore about the top tier reducing from 16 to 12. As long as you have a viable route into getting into the top 12 I don't think it is a big deal and the promotion/relegation weekend should hopefully attract a lot of interest due to the stakes.
 
Anyone watching? Amazing how unpredictable most of the games are. Can't wait for the olympic games.
 

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