RWC7s captains gather on Signal Hill, Cape Town. Photo: Rugby World Cup 7s
The rugby world will descend on Cape Town this weekend, as the World Cup Sevens takes place from Friday, 9 September to Sunday, 11 September at the Cape Town Stadium. This is the eighth iteration of the tournament, with 24 men’s teams and 16 women's teams competing for the greatest accolade in Sevens rugby.
Play gets underway on Friday morning at 08:45, and with the tournament taking a straight knockout format, teams will need to strive for excellence from the onset. South Africans will have to wait a little to see our teams in action, with the women’s first game kicking off at 18:35, against France, and the men taking on either Chile or Germany at 19:03. After that, a few calculations are required to determine when we’ll see our Sevens teams in action again. If the women win their game against France, they’ll play again at 21:05 on Saturday. However, if they lose that initial game, they’ll be up at 10:37. Likewise, if the men win on Friday evening, they’ll only be in action again late on Saturday night, at 22:33. If they don’t succeed on Friday, they’ll kick off at 11:31 on Saturday. It’s all a bit complicated, as these things usually are, but you can find the full schedule of matches here, and watch for updates as the teams progress.
While the Blitzboks finished the HSBC Series in second place, they’re unlikely to be satisfied with that, and will want to return to the winning ways that appeared to go AWOL at the LA Sevens at the end of August. This will also be coach Neil Powell’s last tournament with the team before he takes up his new role at The Sharks, and the players are bound to want to give him the sendoff he deserves. He can certainly look back on his time with the Blitzboks with immense pride.
The Imbokodo have a tough start to the tournament, taking on the French who are ranked second in the world, but they have worked hard this year, and will be looking to draw inspiration from the home crowd in Cape Town. If they can upset the French, they’ll be off to a wonderful start!
The women’s and men’s finals take place on Sunday at 20:17 and 20:54 respectively, after another full day of competition. All the games will be shown on DSTV 201 and 211. Basically, if you won’t be at the Cape Town Stadium, there’s no need to move from your couch all weekend…