South Africa and New Zealand to meet in Dubai
POOL DRAW: The pools and schedule for the opening round of the reimagined SVNS 2024 have been announced ahead of the highly anticipated Dubai Sevens.
The men’s competition sees 2023 champions New Zealand, who were winners in Sydney, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Singapore and Toulouse last season, headline Pool A alongside Canada, last year’s Cape Town winners Samoa and the defending Dubai Sevens champions South Africa, in a repeat showdown of the recent World Cup Final in Paris in the XV-a-side game.
Hamilton, Vancouver and London winners from last season, Argentina, are in Pool B and will face Spain, Australia and Ireland in Dubai, while double Olympic gold medal winners Fiji will face France, USA and Great Britain in Pool C.
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In the women’s competition, the New Zealand Black Ferns, who won six of seven tournaments to claim their seventh series title, headline Pool A alongside Fiji, Great Britain and the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series 2023 champions South Africa who join the series this season.
Defending Dubai Sevens champions Australia will face Brazil, Ireland and Japan in Pool B, while last season’s overall bronze medal winners USA take on France, Spain and their North American rivals Canada in Pool C.
With the Olympic Games Paris 2024 on the horizon, the action will be intense from start to finish with World Rugby’s revamped competition formula set to provide Sevens fans with more excitement and entertainment than ever before.
Under the new model, SVNS 2024 features seven regular-season events plus a Grand Final. The top eight placed teams based on cumulative series points at the conclusion of the seventh round in Singapore will secure their opportunity to compete in the new ‘winner takes all’ Grand Final in Madrid, where the women’s and men’s SVNS 2024 champions will be crowned.
Madrid will also play host to the high stakes relegation play-off competition where teams ranked ninth to 12th will join the top four teams from the World Rugby Sevens Challenger, with the top four placed teams securing their place on SVNS 2025.
World Rugby Chief Competitions and Performance Officer, Nigel Cass said: “We are excited to kick off what will be a thrilling year for rugby sevens at the Dubai Sevens in December front of a packed house of knowledgeable, enthusiastic and passionate rugby fans.
“With a new and exciting format featuring promotion and relegation plus a ‘winner takes all’ competition at the Grand Final in Madrid, we know the action will be fierce at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai from the opening match on Saturday morning to the final whistle on Sunday evening to get the season underway in style.”