Cape Town keeps its Sevens tournament in revamped World Series

Cape Town Stadium during a Sevens event

FILE - Cape Town Stadium during a Sevens event. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 18, 2023


The Mother City made the cut to host one of the Sevens tournaments of the revamped World Rugby Sevens Series with New Zealand's Hamilton getting the boot.

Rugby's international governing body revealed the host cities for the SVNS, as the series will be known, on Tuesday confirming that Madrid in Spain will host the grand final.

What is probably most exciting about the new format, is that any of the top eight teams over the season can still win the series at the Grande Finale in the Spanish city in May 2024.

Dubai, Cape Town, Perth, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and Singapore kept their spots along with Madrid, meaning Toulouse and Twickenham lost their hosting rights along with Hamilton. Sydney was swapped for Perth Down Under.

Cape Town will host in December (9-10) as Dubai kept its status as the opening tournament (2-3 December).

World Rugby also reduced the number of teams competing from 16 to 12 men's sides to align with the Olympic model.

"We are excited to be launching HSBC SVNS, the supercharged new identity for our Olympic format, with iconic destinations and a new concept on and off the field, broadening the reach and appeal of the sport beyond its traditional audiences," Alan Gilpin, World Rugby Chief Executive Office, said in a statement.

All eight tournaments will be played during the summer in the various countries and organisers are hopeful that it will breathe new life into the series.

Rian Oberholzer, SA Rugby CEO, said they are honoured to be one of the hosts of the revamped series.

"We have long thought about expanding and enhancing the spectator experience and the new SVNS delivers exactly that, making for an exciting new departure."

The Cape Town Sevens saw a poorer turnout last year as the World Cup Sevens tournament was hosted in the Mother City in September and supporters were confused by the two tournaments.

But SA Rugby will be hopeful that it can go back to sold-out days of rugby as the men's and women's sides will compete on a new pitch being installed currently.

The SVNS calendar:

Dubai, UAE (2-3 December 2023); Cape Town, South Africa (9-10 December); Perth, Australia (26-28 January 2024); Vancouver, Canada (23-25 February), Los Angeles, USA (2-3 March); Hong Kong SAR, China (5-7 April); Singapore, Singapore (3-5 May); Madrid, Spain (31 May-2 June).


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