SA Rugby bids for 3 more years of CT Sevens

Jurie Roux (Gallo Images)
Jurie Roux (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - SA Rugby are hoping to secure the popular Cape Town Sevens for another three years, says CEO Jurie Roux.

The event, which is sold out for this weekend at the Cape Town Stadium, is already booked for 2018, but SA Rugby's proposal to World Rugby, if successful, would ensure that it stays in the Mother City until 2021. 

READ: Bookies back Blitzboks to win in Cape Town

Last year, more than 115 000 people attended the Sevens in Cape Town and was awarded the 'Best Live Sport Experience in South Africa' at the Discovery Sport Industry Awards. 

For Roux, keeping the tournament in Cape Town should be a mere formality.

"I think it's an absolute no-brainer, but I said the same about the 2023 Rugby World Cup bid as well," Roux joked.

"I'm quietly confident. This is one of the most successful tournaments. Every year there is an internal award done by the coaches and players of all the teams that participated in the World Series, and we have now won that award for the third time.

"We're very proud of this tournament. We know we've got some challenges in terms of the drought. We will be part of that message, but in the end it's all about fun and people having an enjoyable time."

Roux added that he didn't see the date of the Cape Town tournament changing, given that it is paired with the Dubai leg of the World Series. 

"Whenever I sit with the powers that be in Cape Town they always ask to please move it to July or August when they have lots of hotel space, because they're already full in December," Roux explained.

"The reality is that it works on a pairing basis and Dubai and South Africa works nicely. I don't really see Dubai moving and that means we won't move.

"I don't see a date moving ... I might see one or two venues changing."

The good news for South Africa and Cape Town is that the Sevens venues are not decided by a World Rugby Council vote, as was the case for the 2023 World Cup.

"There is an evaluation that takes place on an annual basis and you have to hand in all of those documents. They are then handed to a sub-committee which evaluates all of those documents," Roux said.

"Basically they go on the criteria of attendance, player evaluation, team evaluation and viewership numbers."

According to Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, last year's tournament brought in R432 million to the local economy and created 1 400 jobs, both permanent and temporary. 

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