World Rugby makes history at Danie Craven
NEWS: World Rugby has unveiled details of the inaugural Sevens Challenger Series event for women, which will take place at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch, South Africa on March 28-29.
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 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.
Stellenbosch was selected as host following the ground-breaking women’s World Rugby High-Performance Academy which took place at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport in May 2019 and the recent success of having the South African women’s sevens team play as the invitational team at the Cape Town Sevens in December.
South Africa Rugby President Mark Alexander said: “It is apt that we will host this very exciting tournament in Stellenbosch, as that is where South Africa hosted its first World Series tournament way back in 1999.
*Article continues below…
“We are thrilled to be hosting the inaugural Sevens Challenger Series event for women in Stellenbosch and grateful to World Rugby for the opportunity.
“This tournament will provide our enthusiastic supporters with yet another opportunity to see top female sevens players in action, something we experienced for the first time last year at the Cape Town Sevens.”
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 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.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “The launch of the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series for both women is an important milestone moment for the development of rugby sevens around the globe.
“Sevens has seen dynamic growth in interest and fan engagement since making it’s hugely successful Olympic debut at Rio 2016, and it is right to launch the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in a pivotal year for rugby sevens ahead of the spotlight shone by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“The new Sevens Challenger Series will help to develop the next generation of players and bring international sevens events to new nations, further growing its popularity around the world and underscoring our commitment to be a sport for all.
“World Rugby is heavily committed to growing the women’s game – the women’s competition on the World Rugby Sevens Series has expanded from six to eight rounds this season and teams are more competitive than ever, demonstrating the need and appetite for more women’s teams to be playing sevens at a high level with a clear pathway to progress to the very top of rugby sevens.”