- Women’s semi-finals: China v Uganda, Argentina v Kenya. Men’s semi-finals: Kenya v Uruguay, Germany v Chile
- The action continues from 11:15 local time (GMT+4) on Sunday with the women’s and men’s finals at 16:59 and 17:33 respectively
- The Challenger provides a promotion pathway to HSBC SVNS 2025 with the top four placed men’s and women’s teams securing their place in the new promotion and relegation play-off competition at the HSBC SVNS 2024 Grand Final in Madrid
- Fans around the globe can watch the action on rugbypass.tv
Fans at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai witnessed a great advert for the continuing global growth of rugby sevens as teams from four different continents qualified for the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger semi-finals following a sequence of hotly contested quarter-finals.
Argentina are the only unbeaten team in the women’s competition as they backed up pool victories over Poland, Hong Kong China and Paraguay with a hard fought 22-12 win over a very competitive Thailand team. China proved too strong for Poland in the second women’s quarter-final, running out convincing winners by a 31-10 scoreline.
Belgium had recorded a perfect record of three wins to top their pool but were beaten 17-12 by Uganda in an enthralling quarter-final. There was further African joy as the large Kenyan contingent in the crowd celebrated a 22-12 victory over Czechia to secure their place in the semi-finals. China will face Uganda and Argentina play Kenya in the women’s semi-finals.
The men’s competition was equally intense and the quarter-finals began with a blockbuster between Kenya and Japan, two teams who will showcase their skills at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 having qualified via their regional competitions. Kenya reached the Olympics by beating South Africa and showed their quality once again to overcome a valiant Japan 21-19 to reach the semi-finals.
Uruguay – another team set to star at the Olympic Games in Paris – will face Kenya in the semi-finals after they overcame last year’s Challenger champions Tonga by a 21-14 scoreline.
The third quarter-final saw Germany in impressive form to beat Hong Kong China 19-7. Germany are the only unbeaten team in the men’s tournament following pool phase wins over Kenya, Uganda and Mexico, and they will face Chile in the semi-finals after the South American’s saw off six-man Georgia 26-7 in the last quarter-final to bring down the curtain on a thrilling day of rugby sevens in the Dubai desert.
The action gets under way at 11:15 local time (GMT+4) on Sunday with the semi-finals kicking off at 12:53. The women’s and men’s finals will take place at 16:59 and 17:33 respectively.
There is more to play for than ever before in this year’s Challenger with the competition expanded to three rounds and the top four placed men’s and women’s teams qualifying for the new promotion and relegation play-off competition at the HSBC SVNS 2024 Grand Final in Madrid.
The Challenger tournaments replicate the Olympic Games competition format, with the 12 teams drawn into three pools of four teams each. The top two from each pool as well as the two best third-placed finishers will qualify for the knockout stages with quarter-finals and
The Challenger was introduced in February 2020 to boost the development of rugby sevens across the globe and provide a clear promotion pathway to reach the top level of global rugby sevens for the short format of the game which has experienced huge growth over the past two decades since the introduction of the global sevens series and becoming an Olympic sport at the Rio 2016 Games.
The bigger and better than ever 2024 edition of the Challenger kicks off with combined events at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai on 12-14 January, followed by Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo, Uruguay on 8-10 March before standalone women’s and men’s events at Henryk Reyman's Municipal Stadium in Krakow, Poland and Dantestadion in Munich, Germany respectively on 18-19 May.
Fans around the globe can watch the action on rugbypass.tv.