World Rugby and hosts South Africa Rugby confirmed Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 in Cape Town will take place from 9-11 September 2022.
The eighth edition is the first to be hosted in Africa with organisers anticipating a very special and record-breaking event at the iconic 57,654 capacity Cape Town Stadium.
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 will be contested by 24 men’s and 16 women’s teams.
The top eight men’s teams and top four women’s teams from the hugely successful RWC Sevens 2018 in San Francisco, USA, have already secured automatic qualification for the tournament in 2022.
The qualified teams for the men’s event are defending champions New Zealand, England, South Africa Fiji, Argentina, USA, France, Scotland, while defending champions New Zealand, France, Australia and USA have already booked their tickets to the women’s event in Cape Town. South Africa’s women will join them as the host nation.
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 tournament and 11 in the women’s from regional competitions.
The HSBC 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.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “We are delighted to announce the tournament dates for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 alongside the unveiling of a striking new brand that truly captures the unique, fun and carnival spirit of the tournament.
“This is an exciting time for rugby sevens with less than 70 days to go until the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo and now with Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 also on the horizon. South Africa has a rich history in hosting world-class international rugby sevens events, and we anticipate that Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 will once again raise the bar for this unique tournament and be like no other.”
Alongside confirmation of the dates and new qualification pathway, the bespoke tournament brand, developed by World Rugby and SA Rugby, has also been unveiled.
The tournament is expected to build on the massively successful 2018 edition hosted at AT&T Park in San Francisco, which attracted record attendance for a rugby event in the USA with a total attendance of more than 100,000 fans.
In addition, RWC Sevens 2018 attracted cumulative domestic and global broadcast audiences of more than 24 million and 31 million viewers respectively, which included a record-breaking live broadcast audience of 1.7 million on its final day. The tournament also leveraged 22.5 million social media video views on World Rugby channels over the course of the event.