Ideal Pools for Uganda and Kenya Aiming for World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series Glory

Uganda’s Lydia Namabiro races away from the China defense for a try on day three of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 at Charrua Stadium in Montevideo, Uruguay, on 10 March, 2024. Photo: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

The pools for the final round of the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series 2024 in Krakow, Poland on 18-19 May have been confirmed, allowing participating teams to plan their campaigns to success in the pivotal promotion/relegation battle for participation in World Rugby’s elite HSBC SVNS series. 

Currently competing in the HSBC SVNS Hong Kong leg this weekend, the Springbok Women’s Sevens gained entry to the top-tier competition with their victory in the 2023 World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in Stellenbosch in April last year.

Two strong African contenders, Uganda and Kenya, are currently sitting in impressive positions as the race for promotion to the top tier is heating up in the 2024 World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series, Uganda tied in third with Belgium, and Kenya in fifth – on the Challenger Series log after two rounds.

Significantly, with the pool draw for the final round complete, these two teams find themselves conveniently placed in separate pools, meaning they won’t face each other in the initial knockout stages, ensuring that both nations have a strong chance of progressing to the later rounds, keeping their dreams of promotion alive.

China currently dominates the Challenger Series standings after two rounds in Dubai and Montevideo. They boast a perfect record with 40 points, having secured gold medals in both opening rounds. Argentina follows closely behind in second with 34 points after a silver in Montevideo and a bronze in Dubai. Belgium and Uganda are tied for third on 28 points each, with Kenya hot on their heels in fifth at 24 points. Poland sits in sixth with 22 points, but will be determined to push for a top-four finish in Krakow.

The exciting pool draw for the final round promises some thrilling matchups. Leaders China will face Thailand, Hong Kong China, and Czechia in Pool A. Second-placed Argentina finds themselves in Pool B alongside Uganda, Paraguay, and Papua New Guinea. Pool C features Belgium, Poland, Kenya, and Mexico.

The Challenger Series offers a clear pathway to the pinnacle HSBC Sevens Series in 2025. The top four teams, based on cumulative points across all three rounds, will secure a coveted spot in the new promotion and relegation play-off competition at the HSBC SVNS Grand Final in Madrid later in May. 

Here, they’ll battle it out against teams ranked ninth to twelfth from the 2024 HSBC Sevens Series. The victors in this high-stakes playoff will earn a place in the prestigious HSBC Sevens Series in 2025, while the remaining teams will return to their regional qualification tournaments for another shot at Challenger Series glory.

Every team competing in the 2024 Challenger Series qualified through their respective regional tournaments. The Sevens Challenger was introduced in February 2020 with the specific aim of fostering global development in rugby sevens. The 2024 edition kicked off with a combined men’s and women’s event in Dubai, followed by a similar format in Montevideo, and the final round will see a standalone women’s event in Krakow, Poland.


Main Photo Caption: Uganda’s Lydia Namabiro races away from the China defense for a try on day three of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 at Charrua Stadium in Montevideo, Uruguay, on 10 March, 2024. Photo: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby

Photo 2 Caption: Kenya’s Judith Okumu cuts through the Papua New Guinea defense for a try on at the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 in Montevideo. Photo: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby

Photo 3 Caption: The Springbok Women celebrating their entry to the HSBC SVNS tournament after beating Belgium by 17-10 in the 2023 World Rugby Sevens Challenger series final in Stellenbosch, South Africa, on Saturday, 22 April, 2023. Photo: World Rugby

Photo 4 Caption: China celebrate as gold medal winners on day three of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 at Charrua Stadium on 10 March, 2024 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Photo: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby

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