SA Rugby confirmed on Wednesday their interest as submitted to World Rugby for hosting the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town in 2022.
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 will be played during the September / October window considering the international calendar, including the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and the Commonwealth Games that will take place in July of that year.
The event will again comprise 24 men’s and 16 women’s teams and will be played over three days in one venue, World Rugby announced on Tuesday.
The 11 unions who registered their interest have been issued the formal bid application documents and now have until Tuesday, 16 July 2019 to submit their responses.
SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, said, if successful, the tournament will be hosted in the Mother City at the Cape Town Stadium.
“Hosting the HSBC Cape Town Sevens at this world class venue for the last four years, was a clear proof of the stadium’s capacity to host sold-out events over a couple of days and the city to cater for them,” said Roux.
“The Cape Town leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series has established itself as one of the leading tournaments since 2015, and it delivers a triple-win for World Rugby in terms of the experience for players, partners and the public.
“We have received great feedback scores from World Rugby over the last few years and spectators voted with their feet. Attendance for the event has been strong with more than 100,000 supporters per tournament gaining access over the past four seasons.
“The tournament also won accolades outside of rugby, including the South African Discovery Sports Awards, who voted the HSBC Cape Town Sevens as the best live sporting event in the country.”
Roux added that the Western Cape capital is also an ideal destination for such an event: “Cape Town is served by an international airport with direct flights from all the major hubs and is a truly global international tourism destination with the infrastructure to accommodate an event of this scale.
“The city’s natural beauty offers a spectacular backdrop for a spectacular rugby event. South Africa’s ability to host very successful World Cups in rugby, soccer and cricket, to name a few, is well documented.”
World Rugby has confirmed that Argentina, Cayman Islands, France, Germany, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Qatar, Scotland and Tunisia also confirmed their expression of interest by the 31 March deadline.
The record level of interest is a strong endorsement of the sevens format, which is the driving force behind record rugby fan growth – particularly among young people in emerging rugby markets.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Rugby World Cup Sevens is a major event on the global sporting calendar, a fan and team favourite and is an attractive proposition for unions and cities as a low-investment, high-return event that is great for the city and great for rugby.
“We are delighted with the record level of interest. With a core objective of growing the global rugby fan and participation footprint, it is superb to see new interest from emerging rugby nations, which is great for the sport.
“We now move forward to a detailed phase of consultation and evaluation against set operational, team, fan and legacy criteria before the World Rugby Council selects the 2022 host at the interim meeting in Tokyo in October.”
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 host selection process timelines:
16 July, 2019: Bid responses submitted by unions to World Rugby
29 October, 2019: World Rugby Council selects Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 host