Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 Cape Town event qualification on the line

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 Cape Town event qualification
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With almost all of the final places secured, the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 tournament in Cape Town is fast approaching.

The Madagascar women recently cemented their place in the women’s tournament draw. For emerging nations like them, this could be the highest peak of some players’ and supporters’ lives. And soon, they can make the journey across to Cape Town and play against the likes of World Champions, New Zealand, and other women’s sides.

They join fellow African regional side South Africa, which as the host nation automatically qualifies in both women’s and men’s draws. These two sides join an almost complete complement of women’s teams, with only the Rugby Europe contingent still to provide all four of its placings in both the women’s and men’s draws.

That means a range of summer season tournaments is happening all across Europe now, that play an important part in several sides’ hopes of medaling at the global pinnacle event in September. They are followed by a specific European RWC7s qualification tournament which cements some team’s end goals of reaching the Commonwealth Games.

For fans of the sport, it means summer coincides with a plethora of options to follow and attend into late July, and again in September ‘downunder’.

Weekends in cities such as Lisbon and Krakow will play important roles in determining who might secure tickets to Cape Town in September, and much more in between.

World Rugby has scheduled the qualification tournament which will take place on July 16 and 17 in the Arc of Triumf Stadium in Bucharest.

This tournament will include the teams involved in Rugby Europe 7s Championship Series 2021 and a number of teams from the Rugby Europe Trophies Series 2022, the list of participants can be found here.

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Meanwhile, down in the Southern Hemisphere, Oceania Super Sevens tournaments are also the last stages of these nations’ preparations towards [firstly] the elite Birmingham two-day tournament, followed by Cape Town Rugby World Cup Sevens (RWC7s) two months later. Many competing nations have already qualified, it is only European places that can be decided over the next fortnight.

Timing of those exact qualifying events will occur over the next weeks, so with the break in the HSBC Sevens Series ahead of the Commonwealth Games, European nations like Ireland, Wales, as well as Germany and Spain, will all have from now until mid-July to both prepare for representative honours and to primarily qualify for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 tournament.

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 tournament fast approaching

Achievements have been made by a wide range of nations throughout 2021 and 2022 to date. As the pandemic ruined many sides’ ability to travel, the eventual re-introduction of global travel and safe player welfare arrangements (from World Rugby and the host cities) promoted an expansion of legs from a bare minimum played in 2021. This year saw some cities like Hong Kong, Hamilton and Sydney replaced by the likes of Malaga and Seville, in Spain.

That current HSBC Sevens Series has ended for the women, and only includes the season-concluding Los Angeles tournament for the men. But before LA, Cape Town becomes the center of the ‘rugby sevens World’ in September.

Already, entries to the World Championship include Madagascar women, as well as seven-time participant, the Zimbabwe men’s team. On each occasion that regional team’s reached their goal, the celebrations were well deserved. Years of hard work by the likes of Canada too ensure their sides will compete; even if they only fall outside automatic entry via the past World Rugby seedings. So a note to all nations is that, your team’s performance over the whole four-year cycle brings rewards. As much as the excitement of how Zimbabwe focused its attention to reaching that big occasion, and receiving Presidential support along the way!

Those endorsements might be wished for by some of the more populist European countries too. Only England and Scotland men automatically qualified for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022, and that is a reminder for the Welsh and Irish men’s teams to focus wholly on winning in Lisbon and Krakow before it is too late.

Ireland did well in warm-up events, and recent form sees them as one of the men’s favourites for one of four places. As are the England women, who will be using this build-up to be perfectly poised in front of their home fans, ahead of the Birmingham Games tournament.

On either side of the draw, traditional and new rivalries will be created. Not every core nation on the HSBC Sevens Series competes in the Commonwealth event though. The United States men and women must ‘hold their ammunition’ in check, ready to again face their regular opposition at RWC7s. Even the Japanese and Chinese women will need to maintain their form, ahead of the Cape Town event.

Fans eager to use new travel freedoms to attend Cape Town 2022

To complete the calendar for rugby sevens fans, traveling to the African continent is now a genuine possibility. The attraction of participating in the pinnacle event, and being able to visit a country with a strong record in both rugby sevens and XVs, is a strong attraction. New travel freedoms (with respect to regional advice) allow more nationals to plan for September. A great holiday, with the backdrop of sea and safari to complete your African visit.

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Tag on all the personal and professional rewards associated for players, which puts a big emphasis on events like these. Similar to the newly regarded Olympic and long-running Commonwealth Games, these RWC7s can be the big lift needed to re-establish the sport across the globe. Known for the fancy dress mostly [at one time], now the costumes are mostly worn by entertainers, attracting new interest is a constant pressure. So for sevens, quality is as important as music interludes, player signings and #hashtags,

If Cape Town and the host nation can promote the expected build-up towards this 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens, then it will enjoy as much success as when the very first RWC tournament in South Africa was hosted; and won by, the rainbow nation in 1995.

 

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