World Rugby has unveiled details of the inaugural HSBC Sevens Challenger Series event for women, which will take place at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch, South Africa on 28-29 March, 2020.
Challenger Series participants include China and Kenya Lionesses who have already qualified for Tokyo 2020, while Argentina, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Papua New Guinea will all take part in the Olympic repechage in June 2020 to try and secure their place at the 2020 Olympic Games.
The standalone event will see 12 teams who have qualified from all six World Rugby regions competing to win a coveted core place on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for the 2021 season.
The nations who will compete in Stellenbosch are Argentina, Belgium, China, Colombia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Scotland and hosts South Africa.
The tournament format will see the 12 teams drawn into three pools of four teams that will compete towards a grand final where the winner gains core team status on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021, replacing the bottom placed core team at the end of this season and providing a clear and consistent pathway for teams to progress to play against the world’s best.
The announcement follows the introduction of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series for men which kicks off in Viña del Mar, Chile, on 15-16 February, 2020.
The Sevens Challenger Series is a new competition designed to boost rugby sevens’ development across the globe. Today’s announcement is just the beginning for women’s participation on the Sevens Challenger Series, which will evolve to feature more rounds across the globe as it grows and develops in future years.
With sevens experiencing dynamic growth in terms of both participation and fan engagement, World Rugby is aiming to develop the next generation of players and take rugby sevens to new nations, further growing the popularity and performance of sevens as we approach the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and beyond.
Rugby sevens’ hugely impactful debut at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games attracted an estimated 30 million new fans from around the world to the speed, skill and athleticism of rugby sevens, and with Tokyo 2020 on the horizon, the Sevens Challenger Series will help to prepare teams for the possibility of playing on the world’s biggest sporting stage.
In a continuation of their decade long partnership with rugby sevens, HSBC is confirmed as the title partner of the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series.
Courtesy World Rugby