World Rugby has confirmed a record 11 unions have formally expressed their interest in hosting the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens.
Argentina, Cayman Islands, France, Germany, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Qatar, Scotland, South Africa and Tunisia confirmed their expressions of interest to the International Federation by the March 31 deadline.
The unions have been issued the formal bid application documents and have until July 16, 2019 to submit their responses.
The World Rugby Council is due to select the host of the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens on October 29, during a meeting in Tokyo.
It is claimed the record level of interest is a strong endorsement of the sevens format, which the world governing body says is the driving force behind record fan growth – particularly among young people in emerging markets.
The success and spectacle of the event, which is said to put teams and fans first, is considered a major factor behind sevens' inclusion on the Olympic Games programme for the first time at Rio 2016.
"Rugby World Cup Sevens is a major event on the global sporting calendar, a fan and team favourite and is an attractive proposition for unions and cities as a low-investment, high-return event that is great for the city and great for rugby," World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said.
"We are delighted with the record level of interest.
"With a core objective of growing the global rugby fan and participation footprint, it is superb to see new interest from emerging rugby nations, which is great for the sport.
"We now move forward to a detailed phase of consultation and evaluation against set operational, team, fan and legacy criteria before the World Rugby Council selects the 2022 host at the interim meeting in Tokyo in October."
World Rugby claimed the 2018 edition of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco had been a resounding success, delivering extensive sporting, social and economic benefits to the area and showcasing the world’s best men’s and women’s sevens players to an unprecedented domestic and global audience.
New Zealand triumphed in both the men's and women's tournaments.
They beat England 33-12 in the men's final and France 29-0 in the women's equivalent.
"Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 attracted a record attendance for a rugby event in the USA of 100,000, generated a record domestic broadcast audience of more than nine million and showcased the very best of San Francisco and rugby to a global broadcast audience in 224 territories," Sir Bill added.
"Research conducted by Nielsen Sport confirmed the tournament had generated a $90.5 million (£69.1 million/€80.8 million) economic contribution to San Francisco, so it was groundbreaking on every level."
The 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens will be played during the September and October window.
This was decided when taking into consideration the international calendar, including the World Rugby Sevens Series and the 2022 Commonwealth Games that are scheduled to take place in Birmingham from July 27 to August 7.
The event will again comprise 24 men’s and 16 women’s teams and will be played over three days in one venue.
Among the unions to have decided against bidding for the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens is that of Hong Kong, which hosted the event in 1997 and 2005.
Hong Kong is part of the World Rugby Sevens Series and cannot stage two major international sevens tournaments in the same year.
"On the two occasions we hosted the World Cup, we didn’t have a regular Hong Kong Sevens that year," Hong Kong Rugby Union chief executive Robbie McRobbie told South China Morning Post.
"Nowadays there isn’t that option, so we’d need to run two sevens tournaments in a short space of time, which isn’t practical."