The Rugby World Cup Sevens, the first to be hosted in Africa, will take place in Cape Town from 9-11 September next year, with the Blitzboks and Imbokodo included on the roster, SA Rugby confirmed on Tuesday.
Organisers are expecting the eighth edition of the showpiece – which will be contested by 24 men’s and 16 women’s teams – to be a record-breaking event at the 57,654-capacity Cape Town Stadium.
The top-eight men’s teams and top-four women’s teams from the RWC Sevens 2018 in San Francisco, USA, have already secured automatic qualification for the tournament.
The qualified teams for the men’s event are defending champions New Zealand, England, South Africa, Fiji, Argentina, USA, France, and Scotland.
Among the women’s teams, the Springbok Women’s Sevens side will join defending champions New Zealand, France, Australia and USA in the Mother City.
Teams that have not qualified automatically will do so via their respective regional tournaments held in Europe, Oceania, Asia, North America, South America and Africa, with 16 places available in the men’s and 11 in the women’s tournaments.
The World Rugby Sevens Series will no longer form part of the qualification pathway for Rugby World Cup Sevens. Regional qualification is expected to start in August of this year with further details to be announced at a later stage.
‘South African rugby is eager to turn the vibrancy of this new brand into the vibrancy of a packed live event where we can showcase both our country and our passion for the sport,’ SA Rugby president Mark Alexander said.
‘This will be the first senior World Cup we have hosted since 1995 and we are determined to make it as special in its own way.
‘The Cape Town Sevens has established itself as a major must-see event on our national sporting calendar, but we will be taking Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 to the next level.’
Details of the ticket sales launch will be announced later this year.