Sports

Kenya 7s in Pool C ahead of Challenger series

Tuesday, December 5th, 2023 17:48 | By
Kenya 7s in a team photo. PHOTO/(@KenyaSevens)/Kenya 7s/X
Kenya 7s in a team photo. PHOTO/Kenya 7s/X

The World Rugby Challenger Series has announced the teams that will face Kenya 7s and Kenya Lionesses in the inaugural round, set to unfold in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from January 12-14, 2024.

In the men's competition, Shujaa find themselves in Pool C, where they will contend with regional rivals Uganda, as well as Germany and Mexico.

Kenya 7s counterparts

Meanwhile, the Lionesses are placed in Pool B for the women's competition, where their adversaries will include China, Czech Republic, and Mexico.

Sports CS Ababu Namwamba with Kenya 7s team. PHOTO/(@OfficialKRU)/Kenya Rugby Union/X
Sports CS Ababu Namwamba with Kenya 7s team. PHOTO/(@OfficialKRU)/Kenya Rugby Union/X

This Challenger Series serves as a crucial pathway to potential participation in the HSBC Sevens in 2025. The top four men's and women's teams, based on cumulative series points at the conclusion of the third round, will secure an opportunity to compete in the high-stakes relegation play-off during the SVNS Grand Final in Madrid on May 31-June 2, 2024. This play-off will involve teams ranked ninth to 12th from HSBC SVNS 2024.

From the Grand Final play-off, four successful nations will earn a spot in HSBC SVNS 2025, while the remaining four teams will enter regional qualification tournaments for the chance to compete in the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2025.

Kenya 7s in Olympics

The pool draw, conducted during the HSBC SVNS 2024 opening round in Dubai, unveiled intriguing match-ups. Notably, in the men's competition, Uruguay, Japan, and Kenya, all Olympic Games Paris 2024 qualifiers, lead Pools A, B, and C, respectively. All teams participating in the Challenger 2024 earned their spots through regional competitions.

Kenya 7s (Shujaa) players in a action against Germany. PHOTO/Michelle Ntalami/Twitter.
Kenya 7s (Shujaa) players in a action against Germany. PHOTO/Michelle Ntalami/Twitter.

Mimicking the Olympic Games format, the Challenger tournaments feature 12 teams divided into three pools of four. The top two from each pool, along with the two best third-placed teams, progress to the knockout stages, comprising quarter-finals and semi-finals, culminating in the third-place and gold medal matches.

The Sevens Challenger, introduced in February 2020, aims to foster the global development of rugby sevens, offering a structured pathway for teams to ascend to the pinnacle of global rugby sevens. This initiative comes amid the significant growth of rugby sevens since its inclusion in the global series and as an Olympic sport in the Rio 2016 Games.

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