Branco du Preez, left, and man of the match Rosko Specman celebrate after defeating the US, on their way to victory, in the USA Sevens Rugby Tournament, in Las Vegas. Picture: ISAAC BREKKEN/GETTY IMAGES/AFP
Branco du Preez, left, and man of the match Rosko Specman celebrate after defeating the US, on their way to victory, in the USA Sevens Rugby Tournament, in Las Vegas. Picture: ISAAC BREKKEN/GETTY IMAGES/AFP

Tokyo — The news just got rosier for SA Rugby. 

In the week the Springboks set up a Rugby World Cup final meeting with England‚ it was announced here on Tuesday that SA will host the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2022.

Cape Town will host the event after the World Rugby Council awarded the hosting rights for the premier tournament to SA at its interim meeting.

The eighth edition of the tournament is scheduled to be played in September 2022 and will be the first time it comes to Africa.

The news will come as a huge relief to SA Rugby after a succession of failed bids for major events.

They missed out on the 2011 Rugby World Cup that went to New Zealand‚ the 2015 showpiece that went to England‚ the 2019 edition that was awarded to Japan‚ as well as the 2023 tournament that will be hosted by France.

The main prize‚ however‚ still eludes SA Rugby, having only staged the event once in 1995.

The world’s 24 best men’s sevens teams and the top 16 women’s 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”, World Rugby said in a statement.

“The 55‚000-capacity stadium is the same venue that has hosted the hugely successful HSBC Cape Town Sevens since 2015‚ and for the first time this year will host both men’s and women’s teams across three days of competition as part of the new-look HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

“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 US of more than 100‚000 fans as well as a huge domestic broadcast audience of more than 9-million viewers. 

“The three-day event generated a $90.5m economic contribution to San Francisco [Nielsen Sport] and saw both New Zealand’s men’s and women’s teams retain the title,” said the statement. 

“The awarding of the tournament to SA comes after an initial record of 11 unions — Argentina‚ Cayman Islands‚ France‚ Germany‚ India‚ Jamaica‚ Malaysia‚ Qatar‚ Scotland‚ SA and Tunisia — confirmed an expression of interest to the international federation.

“SA 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.”

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