Singapore clinches deal to host sevens

Singapore has clinched a four-year deal to host a leg of the Sevens World Series at its state-of-the-art National Stadium starting next year, World Rugby said Tuesday.

The wealthy Southeast Asian city-state will join Vancouver, Sydney and Cape Town as new stops on the 10-leg tour, the sport’s world governing body said in a statement.

“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,” said World Rugby’s chief executive Brett Gosper.

Low Teo Ping, president of the Singapore Rugby Union (SRU), said the event “at the iconic National Stadium has the potential to match the excitement surrounding current tournaments in the series”.

World Rugby said Singapore — which last staged a Sevens World Series tournament in 2006 — beat 24 other destinations bidding for hosting rights. No dates have been announced for the Singapore event.

The deal is a shot in the arm for the SRU, which last October lost out to Japan as the preferred host nation for Super Rugby’s 18th team.

The Singapore sevens tournament will be held at the 55,000-seater National Stadium, which opened in June last year and features a domed, retractable roof and an innovative cooling system.

The complex already has the rights to host tennis’s season-ending WTA World Tour Finals until 2018.

The 2015-16 season of the Sevens World Series will consist of 10 tournaments — up from nine this year — at which national teams compete for points.

The top four-ranked nations at the end of the current campaign in May will qualify directly for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janerio where rugby sevens will make its Games debut.

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