- Pools drawn for the second round of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 at Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo, Uruguay on 8-10 March
- Kenya men and China women lead the standings following their victories at the first round in Dubai in January
- The 12-team men’s and women’s competition formats replicate the Olympic Games with three pools of four teams each
- Top four placed men’s and women’s teams will secure spots in the new promotion and relegation play-off competition at the HSBC SVNS 2024 Grand Final in Madrid
- The 2024 Challenger runs from January to May and features combined men’s and women’s events in Dubai, UAE and Montevideo, Uruguay before standalone events in Germany and Poland for men and women respectively
- All six World Rugby regions represented in competition designed to boost the global development of rugby sevens
The pools have been confirmed ahead of the second round of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 at Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo, Uruguay on 8-10 March.
Kenya men and China women lead the Challenger standings following their victories at the first round in Dubai in January.
In the women’s competition China have been drawn to face Poland, Czechia and Paraguay in Pool A. Kenya, losing finalists in Dubai are drawn together with Belgium, Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong China in Pool B. Argentina, bronze medallists in Dubai, will play Uganda, Thailand and Mexico in Pool C.
The men’s leaders Kenya will take on 2023 Challenger champions Tonga along with Georgia and Portugal in Pool A. Pool B sees Dubai runners-up Chile together with Olympic qualified Japan as well as Hong Kong China and Mexico. Dubai bronze medallists Uruguay, who will also compete at the Olympic Games Paris 2024, are in a very competitive looking Pool C where they will play Germany, Uganda and Papua New Guinea.
The Challenger competition provides a clear promotion pathway to reach the pinnacle HSBC SVNS in 2025, with the top four placed men’s and women’s teams from the 2024 Challenger, based on cumulative series points at the conclusion of the third round, securing their opportunity to compete in the new high stakes relegation play-off competition at the SVNS Grand Final in Madrid on 31 May-2 June, 2024 against the teams ranked ninth to 12th from HSBC SVNS 2024.
Four successful nations from this Grand Final play-off will secure their place in HSBC SVNS 2025, while the other four teams will compete in their regional qualification tournaments to earn the right to compete in the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2025.
The pool draw, which took place during the HSBC SVNS 2024 third round in Perth last weekend, produced some exciting match-ups. All teams qualified for the Challenger 2024 through regional competitions, while three men’s teams – Kenya, Japan and Uruguay – will showcase their talents on the biggest stage of all at the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
The Challenger tournaments replicate the Olympic Games competition format, with the 12 teams drawn into three pools of four teams each. The top two from each pool as well as the two best third-placed finishers will qualify for the knockout stages with quarter-finals and semi-finals leading to the third place and gold medal matches.
The Sevens Challenger was introduced in February 2020 to boost the development of rugby sevens across the globe and provide a clear promotion pathway to reach the top level of global rugby sevens for the short format of the game which has experienced huge growth over the past two decades since the introduction of the global sevens series and becoming an Olympic sport at the Rio 2016 Games.
The 2024 edition of the Challenger competition kicked off with combined men’s and women’s event at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai on 12-14 January, which was won by Kenya men and China women. Following the second round in Montevideo the third and final round of the 2024 competition will see standalone women’s and men’s events at Henryk Reyman’s Municipal Stadium in Krakow, Poland and Dantestadion in Munich, Germany respectively on 18-19 May.
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger 2024 dates:
Dubai, UAE – 12-14 January (men and women)
Montevideo, Uruguay – 8-10 March (men and women)
Krakow, Poland - 18-19 May (women)
Munich, Germany –18-19 May (men)
World Rugby Chief Competitions and Performance Officer Nigel Cass said: “The pool draw for the second round of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 in Montevideo has resulted in some really exciting match-ups after an outstandingly competitive opening round in Dubai in January.
“The Challenger provides very meaningful global competition with a clear promotion pathway to reach the pinnacle HSBC SVNS and we expect the competition in Montevideo to be intense from start to finish with more than ever at stake for the teams involved.
“This year is a huge one for rugby sevens, with the launch of the new HSBC SVNS and the increased number of tournaments in the Sevens Challenger, before we reach the Olympic Games in Paris which provides the single greatest opportunity to showcase the speed, skill and all action drama of this popular short format of the sport.”