(22/12/22)  World Rugby’s Sevens Challenger Series for 2023 features a pair of three-day combined men’s and women’s events scheduled to take place at Markotter Stadium in Stellenbosch, South Africa on 20-22 and 28-30 April 2023.

The winner of the 12-team women’s Challenger Series will get automatic promotion to the Sevens World Series 2024, while the winner of the men’s, which also features 12 teams, will enter a four team play-off at the HSBC London Sevens in May 2023 together with the teams placed 12th-14th after ten rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, with the winner of the play-off achieving Sevens World Series 2024 status.

Germany 7s and Uganda 7s in action at HK7s 2019. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Germany 7s and Uganda 7s in action at HK7s 2019. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com

The 12 women’s teams competing are Belgium, China, Colombia, Czechia, Hong Kong, Madagascar, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Poland, South Africa, Thailand and a team from South America yet to be confirmed.

The 12 men’s teams are Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Jamaica, Korea, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The teams qualified via their ranking positions within their relevant regional competitions and the pool draw will take place once the full team line- ups are confirmed in early 2023.

The tournament replicates the Olympic Games competition format, with the 12 teams drawn into three pools of four. The top two from each as well as the two best third-placed finishers will qualify for the knockout stages with quarter-finals and semi-finals leading to the bronze and gold medal matches.

“Rugby sevens is a key driver of global growth for our sport, particularly in emerging nations and continues to expand and captivate audiences with its dynamic, skillful and exciting nature, boosted by its highly impactful and successful appearances at the Olympic Games in Rio and Tokyo,” said Nigel Cass, World Rugby Chief Competitions and Performance Officer. “The Challenger Series provides a clear pathway to reach the Sevens World Series, and teams from all six World Rugby regions have the opportunity to achieve their dreams and reach the pinnacle level of international rugby sevens through their efforts in the Challenger Series.”

In 2024 the Challenger Series is expected to increase to three rounds with the top four ranked teams entering a play-off with the bottom four placed Sevens World Series at a Grand Finale event, meaning four men’s and four women’s teams will have the opportunity to achieve promotion to the pinnacle level of international rugby sevens every year from 2024 onwards.

Rugby pictures: Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens,
Pictures from 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
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Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
, Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015, Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong Kong, Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015,

Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong
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Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014
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Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013
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Pictures of Chartis Cup 2012 and
Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.

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