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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

South African sevens moves to Cape Town

Cape Town will host the South African leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series for the next four years, the national rugby union announced Friday.

Western Cape Town George and Eastern Cape city Port Elizabeth were previous South African hosts of the two-day event.

The multi-sport Cape Town Stadium, built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, will stage the event rather than the Newlands stadium home of Cape Town rugby.

Cape Town Stadium, among the most picturesque stadiums in the world with Table Mountain as its backdrop, can host 65,000 crowds.

"World Rugby wanted iconic destinations to showcase the new Olympic sport of rugby sevens," explained South African Rugby Union chief executive Jurie Roux.

"A world-class stadium in a world-class city in the shadow of a world heritage site in Table Mountain provides exactly that.

"Cape Town is a sport-mad city, their crowds frequently top the South African attendance charts, and it is a rugby city."

George hosted the sevens event nine times and Port Elizabeth four times and from December it moves to a stadium desperate for high-profile sport events.

South African top-tier football club Ajax Cape Town are tenants at a stadium owned by the Cape Town local government.

But apart from visits by hugely popular Soweto clubs Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, they draw small crowds.

Cape Town government officials have tried several times without success to woo the Western Stormers Super 15 side from Newlands.

The provincial rugby body own Newlands whereas they would be tenants at Cape Town Stadium, and the exclusively rugby venue has more money-spinning hospitality suites.

South Africa, whose national sevens side are called the BlitzBokke, top the 2014-2015 Sevens Series standings with 93 points, hotly pursued by great rivals New Zealand (88).

Hong Kong host the next leg next weekend.

Source: Modern Ghana

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