Hong Kong - The Rugby Sevens World Series is to expand as it builds up to the sport's inclusion at the Olympic Games in 2016, organisers said on Tuesday.
The number of teams that will take part in each event in the World Series will increase for 2012-13 from the so-called 12 "core" sides to 15, the International Rugby Board (IRB) said.
The Hong Kong Sevens, from March 23 to 25, will double up as a qualification tournament to determine which will be the three new teams competing in all events in the 2012-13 series.
The core teams include Australia, England, France, New Zealand and South Africa.
"As we build towards Rio 2016 and our Olympic Games debut, it is important that opportunities exist for all nations to progress to series core team status if they are good enough," said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset.