While Canada Sevens rugby tournament just wrapped in Vancouver less than a month ago, Rugby Canada has more Sevens news to share. Rugby Americas North (RAN) has accepted Rugby Canada’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby Americas North Sevens, taking place at the 4,000 seat Starlight Stadium in Langford, BC (outside of Victoria) August 19-20, 2023. The event will serve as the regional Qualification Event for Olympic Games Paris 2024 and World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series 2024.
“RAN is excited to be staging the 2023 Senior Men’s and Women’s Sevens event at Starlight Stadium in Langford,” said RAN president George Nicholson. “Not only is it a fitting venue for the most prestigious event in our region this year, but it will also provide our unions who do not compete on the HSBC Sevens circuit with a glimpse of what it is like at the next level. We are always seeking to ensure that our product is of the highest quality that we can achieve with the resources that we have, and with Rugby Canada stepping up to host this event, we are certain that we will achieve that goal. With LA 2028 just five years away, the more experience that our region’s players and support staff have with participating in and running world-class events, the better prepared we will all be to support USA Rugby in delivering a quality product in 2028.”
“We are very pleased that RAN has chosen to award the hosting of the 2023 RAN Sevens, our region’s Qualification Event for Olympic Games Paris 2024, to Rugby Canada and Langford,” said Jamie Levchuk, Rugby Canada Managing Director, Revenue & Fan Engagement. “Coming off another very successful HSBC Canada Sevens, we know that our staff and Canadian volunteers, supporters, and fans will create an incredible environment for teams both on and off the pitch. We are proud of our proven history of hosting world class tournaments and are excited to continue that legacy and welcome another world-class sevens event to our home stadium in Langford.”
“It’s exciting to host such an event right here in beautiful British Columbia,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “We have an exceptional reputation as a global destination for premier sport events, and Langford has great infrastructure to stage an exciting tournament. Events like this play a powerful role in contributing to the vibrancy of our communities, and we cannot wait to welcome the players, coaches, and spectators to these qualifiers.”
Teams finishing in the top four of the ongoing HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 will automatically qualify for Paris 2024. In the Men’s qualification event, the top-placed team will qualify for the Olympics and the 2nd and 3rd placed teams will go through to a final Qualification Tournament. In the Women’s competition, the top placed team will qualify automatically for Paris 2024, unless both Canada and the USA have both pre-qualified, in which case the top team from the regional qualifier will go through to a final Qualification Tournament.
Pending the results of the 2022-23 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the men’s and women’s sides from the following RAN countries that are full or associate World Rugby members are eligible to compete in this event; USA, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Cayman, Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, & Guyana. The winners of this event will qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
At the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, both Canada and USA’s men and women’s rugby sevens sides competed in the Summer Games out of the RAN region. Mexico and Jamaica had sent their men’s and women’s sides to the World Rugby Sevens Repechage in Monaco in efforts to qualify through the final opportunity but were unsuccessful. The USA Men and Women finished 6th with the Canadian Men at 8th and women at 9th in Tokyo.