Three rounds on three continents, and the top four teams will qualify for the playoffs, among the innovations of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024. © Getty Images

The new calendar for the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 is completed with three rounds taking place on three different continents between January and May. This is one of the novelties revealed with the change of format and dates for the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024.

Additionally, the top four teams will qualify for the promotion and relegation playoff in the Grand Final in Madrid, with an opportunity to qualify for HSBC SVNS 2025. Therefore, this adds another dimension of excitement, providing a pathway to ascend to HSBC SVNS 2025.

The approach is similar for both the men's and women's categories, and the format of the tournaments with 12 men's and 12 women's teams is identical to that of the Olympic Games. The 2024 edition, taking place from January to May, will bring the competition to Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Montevideo (Uruguay), followed by independent tournaments in Germany and Poland for men and women, respectively. All six regions of World Rugby are represented in a competition designed to boost the global development of rugby sevens.

The formula of having a match official team composed of 11 women and 9 men from 14 selected countries remains unchanged. The dates for the first competitions are already established, with the SVNS Grand Final scheduled in Madrid from May 31 to June 2, 2024, against teams ranked ninth to twelfth in the HSBC SVNS 2024.

The top four nations in this playoff Grand Final will secure their place in HSBC SVNS 2025, while the other four teams will compete in their regional qualifying tournaments to earn the right to participate in the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2025.

Dates for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger 2024:

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates – January 12 to 14 (men and women)
  • Montevideo, Uruguay – March 8 to 10, 2024 (men and women)
  • Krakow, Poland – May 18 and 19, 2024 (women)
  • Munich, Germany – May 18 and 19, 2024 (men).

The Sevens Challenger was introduced in February 2020 to boost the global development of rugby sevens and provide a clear promotion path to reach the highest level of world rugby sevens.

Japan was the first men's champion after leading the cumulative ranking of the two stages held in Chile and Uruguay in 2020. The first women's competition was scheduled to take place in Stellenbosch in March 2020 but had to be canceled due to the onset of the global pandemic.

Dubai, MOntevideo, Krakow and Munich, new venues for the competitions. © Getty Images
Dubai, MOntevideo, Krakow and Munich, new venues for the competitions. © Getty Images

After a one-year hiatus, the Sevens Challenger returned in August 2022 with a single combined event held in Santiago, Chile, where the men of Uruguay and the women of Japan won the titles and secured their promotion to the Series.

The 2024 edition of the competition begins with combined events at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai from January 12 to 14, followed by the tournament at Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo, Uruguay, from March 8 to 10, before independent men's and women's events at Estadio Municipal Henryk Reyman in Krakow, Poland, and Dantestadion in Munich, Germany, respectively, on May 18 and 19.

All events of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 will include the twelve nations worldwide that have qualified through their regional competitions. The group draw will take place in Dubai during the inaugural round of HSBC SVNS 2024 in December 2023.

The teams that have qualified for the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 through their regional competitions are Portugal, Georgia, and Germany for men and Poland, Belgium, and the Czech Republic for women by Rugby Europe. Uruguay and Chile for men and Argentina and Paraguay for women by Sudamérica Rugby, both genders of Kenya and Uganda by Rugby Africa, and both genders of Mexico by Rugby Americas North. From Asia, the qualified teams are Japan and Hong Kong China for men and China, Hong Kong China, and Thailand for women. The last teams to qualify were from Oceania: Papua New Guinea for both men and women and Tonga for men secured their places in the competition.

Nigel Cass, Director of Competitions and Performance at World Rugby, said: 'In 2024, we will see the expansion to three rounds, plus the Grand Final, which will further enhance the level of competition and provide teams with more opportunities to play. World Rugby looks forward to working with the tournament hosts to deliver an innovative Sevens Challenger in a year full of sevens."