Sevens World Cup 2018, which features the world’s top 24 men’s and 16 women’s teams, will be played on 20-22 July at the iconic AT&T Park in San Francisco’s Bay Area.
An innovative tournament format will see every match count. In both the men’s and women’s tournaments teams will have to win every match in order to be crowned World Cup winners.
In the men’s competition, where nations will be competing to get their hands on the famous Melrose Cup, there will be an initial knock-out preliminary round featuring the nations ranked ninth to 24th, while the top eight seeds progress automatically to the round of 16.
The top 14 seeds are ranked according to 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 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.
The women will be the first to take to the pitch at AT&T Park as Fiji face Spain in the first match of the tournament on 20 July. Top seeds and reigning World Cup holders New Zealand, who will enter the competition high on confidence following their recent gold medal performance at the Commonwealth Games, will face Mexico in the round of 16.
Olympic champions and current HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series leaders Australia will take on Papua New Guinea while hosts USA, seeded fifth, will wrap up the round of 16 action against China, who are an emerging force following their victory in the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series Qualifier in Hong Kong in April.
Kenya 7s starts against Tonga
The men’s tournament also gets underway on day one with Kenya, runners-up in the recent Hong Kong and Vancouver legs of the HSBC World Sevens Series, facing Tonga in the first game of the preliminary round.
In the evening session on the first day of competition current Olympic champions and HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series leaders Fiji will take on the winner of Japan v Uruguay in the round of 16, while reigning World Cup champions New Zealand will face the winner of Russia v Hong Kong.
Top seeds South Africa will encounter the winners of Ireland v Chile, while host nation USA, ranked fifth, wrap up the first day of competition as they are drawn against the winner of Wales v Zimbabwe in the final match of the day.