Singapore announced as fourth destination of 2015-2016 World Rugby Sevens Series

Singapore has been announced as the latest World Rugby Sevens Series hosts from the 2015-2016 season, with their new National Stadium set to host a men’s event for the next four years.

The Asian country are the fourth venue of next season to be confirmed, with Vancouver in Canada, Sydney in Australia and Cape Town in South Africa having already been announced for next year’s 10 destination series.

Singapore’s 55,000-capacity state-of-the-art national stadium will host the series and their inclusion follows a tender process, in which 25 locations were vying for the role as series hosts.

The successful bid from the Singapore Rugby Football Union and City of Singapore focused on furthering the growth of rugby across Asia, with 445,000 men women and children now participating in the sport across the continent.

“We truly believe that our event at the iconic national stadium has the potential to match the excitement surrounding current tournaments in the Series,” Low Teo Ping, Singapore Rugby Union President, said.

“Engaging rugby in Asia and growing the sport in Singapore is our prime vision for the tournament and the key associated events and community outreach as part of this tournament will be critical to the long-term sustainability of rugby as we strive to ignite passion in the next generation of players and fans in Singapore, Southeast Asia and ultimately across Asia.”

South Africa lead the 2014-2015 series with only two events remaining
South Africa lead the 2014-2015 series with only two events remaining ©World Rugby

Hong Kong and 2020 Olympic Games host city Tokyo in Japan have been the two Asian destinations this season, with England’s victory in the Japanese capital putting them firmly in the hunt for one of four Rio 2016 qualifying berths, which would be awarded to Britain.

World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset believes the newest addition highlights the growth of the sport as it prepares for its Olympic debut.

“The World Rugby Sevens Series continues to go from strength to strength, proving a hit with fans, broadcasters and sponsors around the globe with its winning blend of compelling and competitive action, global destinations and festival atmosphere,” he said.

“As a major tourism and business destination, Singapore’s inclusion on the Series is great news for fans and great news for rugby as the sport continues to experience record growth ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”

World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper echoed Lapasset’s thoughts.

“Asia has been at the heart of the rugby sevens success story and it is exciting to add another fantastic location and an incredible stadium to the stellar and expanded line-up of World Rugby Sevens Series host destinations from 2015-16,” he said.

“I am sure Singapore, with its major event experience and passion, and superb new stadium, will become a fan and team favourite on the record-breaking World Rugby Sevens Series.”

There are two legs remaining of the current nine event series, with Glasgow in Scotland set to stage the next tournament on May 9 and 10 before the series concludes at Twickenham on May 16 and 17, where the winners and Rio 2016 qualifiers will be decided.