USA named as host of 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens

San Francisco and San Jose will welcome the best sevens rugby players as New Zealand look to defend their world titles

San Francisco Bay will host the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens after the World Rugby Council awarded the hosting rights to the USA.

The tournament will take place at the 41,915-capacity AT&T Stadium in the city’s South Beach area, home to Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants franchise, supported by the newly-built 18,000-capacity Avaya Stadium, home of Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes, which opened its doors in March this year, and is considered to be one of the most technologically stadiums in the world.

Rugby World Cup Sevens is at the heart of the success story and we are delighted to be awarding these prestigious hosting rights to USA Rugby after a competitive process.

Bernard Lapasset

Both venues will showcase the best 24 men’s and 16 women’s nations in 105 games over three days, two years before the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and continues World Rugby’s trend of taking the sport to emerging markets following the 2009 event in Dubai and the 2013 event in Moscow.

Bernard Lapasset, World Rugby chairman, believes that San Francisco’s experience and passion for sport, including its growing rugby community, will help make the event in northern California a popular choice.

“Rugby sevens continues to go from strength to strength, proving a hit with fans, broadcasters and sponsors around the globe with its winning blend of compelling and competitive action, global destinations and festival atmosphere,” Lapasset said.

“Rugby World Cup Sevens is at the heart of the success story and we are delighted to be awarding these prestigious hosting rights to USA Rugby after a competitive process.

“I am sure that the San Francisco Bay area, with its major event experience and passion for sport, will be a popular and spectacular Rugby World Cup Sevens host.”

New Zealand are the defending champions in both the men’s and women’s events, but World Rugby’s decision to relocate the Rugby World Cup Sevens to the middle of the four-year Olympic Games cycle means they have to wait an extra year to defend their crowns won in Moscow in 2013.

The USA is enjoying an explosive growth in the abbreviated form of the game with over one million men, women and children playing the game and, following the success of the Las Vegas Sevens round of the HSBC Sevens World Series, Canada joins the series from the 2015/16 season with an event hosted in Vancouver.

Lapasset added: “With an expanded 10-destination World Rugby Sevens Series beginning in 2015-16, Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in the USA and rugby sevens set to make its Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016, these are exciting times for the sport as we continue to reach out, engage and inspire new audiences around the world.”

The competition dates will be announced in due course.

Previous hosts:

2013: Moscow, Russia
2009: Dubai, UAE
2005: Hong Kong
2001: Mar del Plata, Argentina
1997: Hong Kong
1993: Edinburgh, Scotland

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