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Rugby World Cup Sevens set for San Francisco Bay

The Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 event will take place in the San Francisco Bay area after World Rugby’s Council decided to award the competition to USA Rugby.

Dates are still to be announced for the event, which will lead in to the Rugby Sevens competition at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

AT&T Park, the 42,000-seat home of Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants, and 18,000-seat Avaya Stadium, home to San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer, will stage matches involving the 24 men's and 16 women's national teams. 

New Zealand captured the men's and women's world titles at the previous edition of the event in 2013 in Moscow, Russia. The five-year gap between World Cup Sevens editions reflects World Rugby's recent decision to move the event back one year into the Olympic cycle to maximise rugby's integration into the Olympic Games programme. Next year, rugby sevens will debut at the Rio Olympics.

"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," World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset said.

Winning hosting rights continues the growth momentum for rugby in the USA, which is enjoying record increase in participation and interest with more than one million regularly playing the sport.

"Hosting a Rugby World Cup is an important step forward for rugby in the USA and will bring high levels of visibility and interest for the game in the country," USA Rugby chief executive Nigel Melville said. "We will also be using the opportunity to develop Impact 2018, a national legacy programme for the whole USA Rugby community."