The Australian Rugby Union today announced Sydney will be the home of the Australian leg of the Sevens World Series for the next four years from the 2015-16 season.
The Sydney Sevens will take place at Allianz Stadium in Moore Park, with dates of the event to be confirmed by World Rugby at the end of the month.
Currently in its 16th season, the Sevens World Series consists of nine tournaments held around the world, in which national Sevens teams compete for World Series points at each round. Fast-paced and thrilling, the inaugural Sydney Sevens will take place just a matter of months before Rugby Sevens makes its debut at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "With excitement increasing ahead of Rio 2016, the World Rugby Sevens Series has been going 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.
“Sydney is one of the world’s iconic cities, a sports-mad city with an exceptional record of attracting and hosting major events like Rugby World Cup and the Olympic Games. Sydney’s inclusion within a stellar Series hosting line-up is exciting for players and fans and underscores the strength of the rugby sevens brand in the global sporting marketplace.
“I have no doubt that the Sydney Sevens will inspire new audiences and participants and contribute to the continued strong growth of the game in Australia and around the world.”
ARU CEO Bill Pulver said: “We are thrilled to be able to bring Rugby Sevens to Sydney. We truly believe that Sydney has the potential to match the excitement surrounding tournaments like Hong Kong, Twickenham and Wellington in terms of event experience and crowd numbers.
“Sydney is an iconic city known across the world for its cultural diversity, outdoor lifestyle and stunning tourist attractions. It is a terrific fit for an event that traditionally attracts an audience from a variety of different nationalities and backgrounds.
“There is little doubt the area in and around Moore Park lends itself to Rugby Sevens. We had a stadium record crowd at Allianz Stadium in June with plenty of exciting Test Rugby on the field, and wonderful off-field entertainment at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“Growing Rugby, particularly the Sevens format of our game, is critical to our long-term objectives as we strive to ignite passion in the next generation of players and fans. Globally, the game is in an exciting spot with Rugby Sevens part of the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 program.”
The NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, submitted the successful bid to the ARU.
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Troy Grant, said the event would be a great addition to the Sydney events calendar.
“This announcement means the Sevens World Series now comes to the home of Australian sport, Sydney, and our Harbour City joins a host of iconic cities as a host venue for one of the world’s most exciting and entertaining annual sporting events,” Mr Grant said.
“With a large number of travelling fans expected, the Sydney Sevens will provide a major boost to the local economy, and assist in the NSW Government’s goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by 2020.”
Australian Director of Rugby Sevens Geraint John, said: “I have already experienced first-hand the passion Sydneysiders have for Rugby, whether it be through their support for the national team, their state or club Rugby.
“I speak on behalf of the entire Men’s Sevens program when I say that we are looking forward immensely to playing in front of our home crowd in Sydney. It is always a thrill to play in front of your own people. I have attended plenty of Rugby across the world – both as a player and coach - and I truly believe Sydney will rival the very best of them.”
Olivia Wirth, Group Executive Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Qantas, said: “As the Official Partner of the ARU and the naming rights partner of the Australian Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams, we are very excited that Sydney will feature on the World Rugby Sevens Series calendar. This is great news for Australian tourism and the wider sporting community. We look forward to helping fans from around the world cheer on their teams and enjoy all that Australia has to offer.”
The Sydney Sevens is supported by the New South Wales Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.
Fans can sign up for Sydney Sevens ticket alerts via www.Sydney7s.com.au. Public on-sale dates will be announced in due course.