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29 Oct 2019

New frontier for Rugby World Cup Sevens as Cape Town to host in 2022

South Africa has been awarded the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens, with the event to take place in the coastal city of Cape Town.

The decision was taken at a World Rugby council meeting in Tokyo today.

It will be the eighth edition of the quadrennial showpiece sevens event, and the first to be held on the African continent, with a competition involving 24 men’s teams and one for 16 women’s teams, and New Zealand seeking to defend their title in both.

The tournament is scheduled for September 2022, and matches will be played at the 55,000-capacity Cape Town Stadium, which already hosts an annual leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

South Africa was one of 11 countries to express an interest in staging the next Rugby World Cup Sevens, the others being Argentina, Cayman Islands, France, Germany, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Qatar, Scotland and Tunisia.

This followed the perceived success of the 2018 tournament, which was held in San Francisco and attracted a record US attendance for a rugby event of more than 100,000 spectators, and had a domestic broadcast audience of over 9 million.

The event at AT&T Park is estimated to have generated a $90.5-million economic contribution to the city.

Rugby sevens is set to feature at the Olympic Games for a second time next year, at Tokyo 2020.

South Africa are one of the leading rugby union nations, and the award of the Rugby World Cup Sevens comes after the national team reached next Saturday’s final of the 15-a-side Rugby World Cup in Yokohama, in which they will face England.

World Rugby chairman 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 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. We would like to thank all of the unions who expressed an interest in hosting this growing event and hope to welcome them back to bid for future events as rugby sevens continues to go from strength to strength." 

Meanwhile. Uruguay have been admitted as the newest member of the World Rugby council.

The Unión de Rugby del Uruguay becomes the 52nd member of the primary decision-making forum, following the unions of Fiji and Samoa, which joined earlier this year.

World Rugby said that the South American country was admitted after achieving the necessary good governance criteria.

Uruguay are presently 18th in the World Rugby men's rankings and, despite going out in the pool phase, recorded an impressive victory over Fiji at this year's Rugby World Cup.