Cape Town has been named by World Rugby as host venue for the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens marking the first time the tournament will be hosted in Africa.
The announcement was made in Tokyo on Tuesday after the World Rugby Council awarded the hosting rights for the premier tournament to South Africa at its Interim Meeting.
In September 2022 the eighth edition of the showcase event will take place in Cape Town in what will be the first time that Rugby World Cup Sevens has been hosted on the African continent.
“We’re delighted that South Africa and Cape Town has been confirmed as hosts for the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“We have been eager to host global rugby tournaments for a number of years and to have the flagship event in the growing sport of Sevens come to South Africa is exciting.
“We saw how the sport engaged the audience in San Francisco last year and we are certain that it will be just as big a success in Cape Town.”
The world’s best 24 men’s and 16 women’s rugby sevens teams will take to the field at the Cape Town Stadium in Green Point where they will compete for world champion status over three days of exhilarating action.
The 55,000-capacity stadium is the venue that hosts the hugely successful HSBC Cape Town Sevens. This year the venue will host both men’s and women’s teams across three days of competition for the first time.
The arrival of the event on the African continent for the first time was also welcomed by Mr Khaled Babbou, the president of Rugby Africa: “Rugby Africa is very proud and happy that this tournament is coming to Africa,” he said. “It will add to the growth of the game on the continent. Congratulations to the South African Rugby Union.”
The awarding of the tournament to South Africa comes after an initial record of 11 unions – Argentina, Cayman Islands, France, Germany, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Qatar, Scotland, South Africa and Tunisia – confirmed an expression of interest to the international federation.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Congratulations to South Africa on being elected Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 hosts. We were impressed with South Africa’s detailed and comprehensive bid and we look forward to working in partnership with them on another inspiring and record-breaking tournament.
“South Africa have a proven track record of delivering a sell-out event in the HSBC Cape Town Sevens, which is an esteemed tournament on the world series circuit and will be of huge value to the planning and execution of Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022.
“About to make its second appearance on the Olympic Games programme at Tokyo 2020, rugby sevens is an innovative and thriving format of the game that has enormous appeal, and we are excited about the positive impact that another successful Rugby World Cup Sevens will have on our sport.”
The 2022 tournament follows an exceptional Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco which attracted a record attendance for a rugby event in the USA of more than 100,000 fans as well as a huge domestic broadcast audience of more than nine million viewers.
The three-day event, hosted at AT&T Park, generated a US$90.5 million economic contribution to San Francisco (Nielsen Sport) and saw both New Zealand’s men’s and women’s teams take the title.
Roux said: “The HSBC Cape Town Sevens has established itself as a rugby bucket-list tournament in the past few years and we’re sure that international visitors to the event will experience a great tournament at an ideal rugby venue in a fantastic city.”
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 will be played during September 2022 considering the international calendar, including the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and the Commonwealth Games that will take place in Birmingham, England in July 2022.
Competition dates will be confirmed in due course.