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United States to host 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens

New Zealand Men's and Woman's Sevens squad at Auckland International Airport after winning both Rugby World Cup Sevens titles in Moscow. Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images

The United States will host the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens, it has been announced.

World Rugby accepted a bid made by USA Rugby to host the tournament, with matches to be played in both San Francisco and San Jose in California.

It marks rugby's continued growth across America after the United States Eagles hosted the All Blacks in front of the 61,500 sold-out crowd at Soldier Field last November - the first time international rugby had been played in an NFL stadium.

World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "Rugby Sevens continues to go 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.

"Rugby World Cup Sevens is at the heart of the success story and we are delighted to be awarding these prestigious hosting rights to USA Rugby after a competitive process.

"I am sure that San Francisco, with its major event experience and passion for sport, will be a popular and spectacular Rugby World Cup Sevens host."

World Cup matches will be played at AT&T Park in San Francisco and Avaya Stadium in San Jose.

USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville added: "This is a truly historic moment for rugby in the United States. Not only will we be playing in two world-class venues, but we will do it in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area.

"With amazing hotel accommodations, travel options and dining, rugby fans from across the world will be treated to a first-class experience."

Rugby Sevens has grown increasingly popular in recent years and will make its Olympic debut at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Rugby was last played in the Olympics in 1924, with the United States taking the gold medal. New Zealand are the defending world champions in both the men's and women's Sevens, having won both competitions in Moscow in 2013.