By The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER – B.C. Place Stadium will host a stop on the World Rugby Sevens Series in 2016.
Canada faced opposition from 20 bidding nations to stage the two-day event in March 2016 that will feature 16 of the world’s top men’s sevens teams.
The Canadian campaign was led by John Furlong, former president and CEO of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and former Canadian rugby captain Gareth Rees, a World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee.
“Vancouver is a world renowned event location and a city with a tremendous track record of hosting incredible events, like the 2010 Olympic Winter Games,” World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset said in a statement Monday. “Its inclusion within a stellar series hosting lineup, is great for players, great for fans and great for the ongoing prosperity and development of rugby in Canada and around the globe.”
The full list of host cities for the sevens tour will be announced in March 2015.
“Congratulations to @RugbyCanada & @CanadaSevens on being chosen to host the World Rugby Sevens in #Vancouver March 2016,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper posted on his Twitter feed.
The men’s event comes on the heels of Canada being selected to host a stop on the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series annually in Langford, B.C., starting in April 2015.
And it comes amidst a spotlight on sevens, which will debut in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The 2014-15 men’s seven series features stops in Australia, Dubai, South Africa, New Zealand, the U.S., Hong Kong, Japan, Scotland and England.