PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 10, fans during the match between South Africa and Samoa on day 2 of the 2011 IRB PE Sevens at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on December 10, 2011 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa Photo by Lee Warren / Gallo Images

Johannesburg – The South African leg of the Sevens World series at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will move to a weekend format, the SA Rugby Union (Saru) announced on Monday.

The tournament, the third round in the series featuring the 16 best sevens rugby teams in the world, will now take place on the weekend of December 8 and 9. The series will start a day later than the original scheduled date.

Saru's commercial and marketing general manager Andy Marinos said the move was made after research among supporters and would benefit all the major stakeholders and fans.

“Research among all our stakeholders has shown a strong preference for Saturday and Sunday play,” Marinos said.

“The rescheduling is in line with most of the other popular series tournaments. We are confident that the new dates will allow even more fans to attend and enjoy the thrilling international Sevens action.”

Last year, in the inaugural Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens tournament, more than 11,000 fans attended the first day's action on the Friday, and 30,000 turned up to watch the last day's action on the Saturday.

Saru said an announcement would be made soon on when tickets would be on sale. – Sapa