- Global excitement building with 100 days to go
- Tournament seedings announced
- #MakeYourMark campaign launched
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 is today celebrating 100 days to go with the announcement of the tournament seedings and a call for players and fans to #MakeYourMark at the landmark event.
The competition, which features the world’s top men’s and women’s teams, will be played over three exhilarating days in the iconic AT&T Park in San Francisco’s Bay Area on 20-22 July.
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 has captured the imagination in the host city, across the USA and around the world with strong ticket sales as fans look to make their mark by attending a tournament of firsts.
San Francisco 2018 is the first Rugby World Cup of any description in the USA, the first major international rugby event to be played in a Baseball stadium and the first sevens event to feature a new, innovative format that will ensure every match counts if teams are to win a medal.
With the seedings for the 24-team men’s and 16-team women’s competitions now finalised, World Rugby expects to announce the match schedule shortly, enabling fans to start to plan their tournament experience.
In the men’s competition, the eight quarter-finalists from RWC Sevens 2013 and 2018 hosts USA qualified automatically and were joined by the four highest ranked teams outside of these nations on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17. The remaining 11 teams successfully negotiated the regional qualification process.
The top 14 seeds are ranked according to the points accrued on the 2016-17 series and first seven rounds of 2018 in Dubai, Cape Town, Sydney, Hamilton, Las Vegas, Vancouver and Hong Kong.
The remaining 10 teams are ranked according to their placing in last weekend's World Series qualifier in Hong Kong with Tonga seeded 24th having not taken part in that event.
The innovative tournament format will see an initial knock-out qualifier featuring the nations ranked ninth to 24th, while the top eight seeds progress automatically to the round of 16.
This means that HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series leaders South Africa are top seeds with Olympic champions Fiji seeded second. Defending Rugby World Cup Sevens champions New Zealand are seeded third ahead of the side they beat in that 2013 final, England. Host nation USA, who were victorious in the recent Las Vegas round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, are the fifth seeds.
In the women's competition, the four semi-finalists at Moscow 2013 qualified automatically and were joined by the four highest ranked teams outside of these on the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series 2016-17. The remaining eight teams booked their tickets to San Francisco via the regional qualification process.
The top 10 seeds are ranked according to points accrued on the 2016-17 series and first two rounds of 2018 in Dubai and Sydney, with Japan seeded 11 by virtue of their place as a core team on the 2018 series. The five remaining teams are ranked by their placing in the World Series qualifier in Hong Kong, won by China.
Defending champions New Zealand are the top seeds ahead of Olympic champions and current HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series 2018 leaders Australia in second. Canada are seeded third, ahead of Russia in fourth and hosts USA in fifth.
Meanwhile, in an event that has fan experience at heart, fans are being challenged to get involved in a tournament that will be too exciting to miss by using the hashtag #MakeYourMark across social media. More exciting fan-engagement initiatives will be announced shortly.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 is set to be a very special, landmark event. Not only is it the first Rugby World Cup event in the USA, but we are introducing an innovative schedule that will mean teams wishing to lift the iconic Melrose Cup and Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens trophy will need to win every match.
“We believe that this format will be popular with fans, further reflecting our mission to deliver an outstanding experience for fans and teams in one of the world’s best-known and best-loved cities.”
Ticket sales have already surpassed 60,000 and fans can either purchase three-day passes (there is also a ticket exchange mechanism) or via the official domestic and international supporter tour programmes. Further details can be obtained via www.rwcsevens.com/tickets.