Shujaa, Lionesses discover opponents for Uruguay Challenger Series

31st January 2024

The second round of the Challenger 2024 will take place in Uruguay from 8-10 March.

Patrick Odongo. PHOTO| World Rugby
Patrick Odongo. PHOTO| World Rugby
  • The men’s team, Shujaa, lead the Challenger standings following their victory at the first round in Dubai played in January.
  • Lionesses finished second in the first outing.
  • Both teams will be aiming to finish inside the top four places to stand a chance of gaining promotion to the World Series.

The pools for the second round of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 have been confirmed.

The event, set to take place at Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo, Uruguay from 8-10 March, will see the country’s men’s and women’s teams take part as they continue their quest of gaining promotion to the World Series.

The men’s team, Shujaa, lead the Challenger standings following their victory at the first round in Dubai played in January.

The Kevin Wambua-coached side will take on 2023 Challenger champions Tonga along with Georgia and Portugal in Pool A.

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Pool B sees Dubai runners-up Chile together with Olympic-qualified Japan as well as Hong Kong China and Mexico.

Dubai bronze medalists 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.

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 medalists in Dubai, will play Uganda, Thailand and Mexico in Pool C.

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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 Challenger tournaments replicate the Olympic Games competition format, with the 12 teams drawn into three pools of four teams each.

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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.

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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)