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Rugby in the U.S. set for a massive boost?

updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
Two fans cheer on the American team during the recent Las Vegas leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Two fans cheer on the American team during the recent Las Vegas leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The U.S. is bidding to host the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens
  • Rugby sevens is a seven-a-side version of rugby union
  • The Rugby World Cup Sevens is staged every four years
  • The 2013 event took place in Russia and was won by New Zealand

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(CNN) -- In its bid to compete with major U.S. sports, American rugby could be set to receive a huge boost.

USA Rugby has announced its interest in tendering for the right to host the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens, ahead of a formal bid on December 5.

Sevens is a scaled-down version of rugby union, with seven players on each team rather than 15.

Over 10 countries have so far registered an interest in hosting the tournament, with the International Rugby Board set to make a final decision on May 15, 2015.

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"2018 may appear to be a long way away at this time, but the decision on who will host the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2018 will be made in the next 13 months," USA Rugby chief executive officer Nigel Melville said in a statement.

"The USA Rugby board have already established a Rugby World Cup bid committee under the chairmanship of board member Will Chang and talks have already taken place with a small number of cities who have expressed interest in hosting this incredible event."

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The U.S. team currently competes in the HSBC Sevens World Series, an annual global competition which takes place over eight months in nine different countries.

The Las Vegas leg of the series took place in January.

The Rugby World Cup Sevens, first staged in 1993, is held every four years.

The 2013 tournament took place at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, with New Zealand winning both the men's and women's competitions.

Sevens will make its Olympic debut at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro and to accommodate the International Olympic Committee calendar, the World Cup was put back from 2017 to 2018.

"I am delighted to be chairing USA Rugby's Rugby World Cup 2018 bid committee and I look forward to hearing from cities interested in hosting this incredible event," said Chang.

"The Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2018 will be an important global rugby event ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games and will continue to support the growth of rugby sevens in America.

"This will be a great opportunity for USA Rugby fans to watch a Rugby World Cup on home soil."

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