World Rugby has awarded hosting rights to the 2022 edition of its Rugby World Cup Sevens event to Cape Town Stadium.

The 55,000-seat stadium has hosted the Cape Town Sevens event since 2015 and the 2022 World Cup will mark the first time World Rugby’s showpiece sevens tournament has been held in Africa.

The men’s event in Cape Town will comprise 24 teams, with 16 teams to compete in the women’s tournament. The event will be held in September 2022, with specific dates to be confirmed in due course.

Eleven unions – Argentina, Cayman Islands, France, Germany, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Qatar, Scotland, South Africa and Tunisia – expressed an interest in hosting the tournament and South Africa was ultimately deemed the standout candidate.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “We were impressed with South Africa’s detailed and comprehensive bid and we look forward to working in partnership with them on another inspiring and record-breaking tournament.

“South Africa 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.”

The 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens will be the eighth edition of the tournament. The most recent edition was held in the US city of San Francisco last year, with New Zealand winning the men’s and women’s titles.

More than 100,000 fans attended the 2018 event at AT&T Park, home of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants. It marked a record attendance for a rugby event in the US.

SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux added: “We have been eager to host global rugby tournaments for a number of years and to have the flagship event in the growing sport of sevens come to South Africa is exciting.

“We saw how the sport engaged the audience in San Francisco last year and we are certain that it will be just as big a success in Cape Town. The HSBC Cape Town Sevens has established itself as a rugby bucket-list tournament in the past few years and we’re sure that international visitors to the event will experience a great tournament at an ideal rugby venue in a fantastic city.”

Rugby sevens made its Olympic debut at Rio 2016 and will be on the programme of events for Tokyo 2020.

Cape Town Stadium was built for South Africa’s staging of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Earlier this month, a proposal outlined by the City of Cape Town to lease the stadium to a newly-created municipal entity for just R100 (£5.31/€6.16/$6.83) was criticised by ratepayers.

Image: Maryland Pride