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South Africa named World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series host

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.

FILE: South Africa and New Zealand contest a high ball during their HSBC World Rugby Sevens match at the Cape Town Stadium on 13 December 2019. Picture: @WomenBoks/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - World Rugby has announced South Africa as the host of HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series event for women which will take place at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on 28-29 March 2020.

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.

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 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.

“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," said South Africa Rugby president Mark Alexander.

“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.”

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont added, “The launch of the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series for both women and men 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."