Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 is celebrating 100 days to go with the announcement of the tournament seedings.
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 20,21 and 22 July.
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.
“Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 is set to be a very special, landmark event," said World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont. "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 have 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.
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.
In the men’s competition, seeds one to eight were the quarter-finalists from Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow and have been seeded according to their ranking in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the most competitive series to date.
Current HSBC World Sevens Series leaders South Africa are top seeds with Olympic Champions Fiji seeded second. Reigning Rugby World Cup Sevens holders New Zealand are seeded third ahead of 2013 World Cup Sevens runners up England, who are seeded fourth. Host nation USA, who were victorious in the recent Las Vegas leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series are seeded fifth.
The innovative tournament format will see an initial knock out pre-round of 16 featuring the nations ranked ninth to 24th, while the top eight seeds progress automatically to the round of 16.
The women’s competition follows the same format as the men’s with seeds one to four qualifying via Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 semi-final participation and seeded according to current HSBC Women’s Sevens Series rankings. Seeds five to eight qualifying via the last series and seeded according to current series rankings and nine to 16 qualifying via regional tournaments over the last year.
At the top of the women’s seedings are reigning World Cup holders New Zealand, followed by Olympic Champions and current HSBC Women’s Sevens Series leaders Australia, who are second seeds. Canada are seeded third, ahead of Russia in fourth and hosts USA are seeded fifth, while England are eighth.