• Second round of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 takes place at Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo on 8-10 March
  • Vice President of Uruguay Beatriz Argimón welcomes captains at the Legislative Palace ahead of International Women’s Day on Friday
  • The 12-team men’s and women’s competition format replicates the Olympic Games with three pools of four teams each
  • Kenya men and China women lead the standings following their victories at the first round in Dubai in January
  • The Challenger runs from January to May with men’s and women’s combined events in Dubai and Montevideo before standalone events in Germany and Poland for men and women respectively
  • The top four placed men’s and women’s teams will secure a place in the newpromotion and relegation play-off competition at the HSBC SVNS 2024 Grand Final in Madrid
  • All six World Rugby regions represented in competition designed to boost the global development of rugby sevens

Captains of the 12 women’s and 12 men’s teams competing in the second round of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 in Montevideo were officially welcomed on Wednesday by Vice President of Uruguay Beatriz Argimón.

The captains gathered at the Legislative Palace where they were given a tango class and inspired by words from the Vice President ahead of the three day event, which takes place at Estadio Charrúa and begins on International Women’s Day, 8 March.


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.

Kenya men and China women lead the standings following their victories at the first round in Dubai in January.


The pool draw, which took place during the HSBC SVNS 2024 third round in Perth at the end of January, produced some exciting match-ups.

In the women’s competition China have been drawn to face Poland, Czechia and Paraguay in pool A. Kenya, losing finalists in Dubai are drawn together with Belgium, Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong China in pool B. Bronze medallists in Dubai Argentina will play Uganda, Thailand and Mexico in pool C.

The men’s leaders Kenya will take on 2023 Challenger champions Tonga along with Georgia and Portugal in pool A. Pool B sees Dubai runners-up Chile together with Olympic qualified Japan as well as Hong Kong China and Mexico. Dubai bronze medallists Uruguay, who will also compete at the Olympic Games Paris 2024, are in a very competitive looking pool C where they will play Germany, Uganda and Papua New Guinea.


The Challenger competition provides a clear promotion pathway to reach the pinnacle HSBC SVNS in 2025, with the top four placed men’s and women’s teams from the 2024 Challenger, based on cumulative series points at the conclusion of the third round, securing their opportunity to compete in the new high stakes relegation play-off competition at the SVNS Grand Final in Madrid on 31 May-2 June, 2024 against the teams ranked ninth to 12th from HSBC SVNS 2024.

Four successful nations from this Grand Final play-off will secure their place in HSBC SVNS 2025, while the other four teams will compete in their regional qualification tournaments to earn the right to compete in the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2025.  

The teams occupying the top four places following the first round in Dubai in the women’s competition are China, Kenya, Argentina and Uganda. In the men’s standings the top four teams are Kenya, Chile, Uruguay and Germany.

All teams qualified for the Challenger 2024 through regional competitions, while three men’s teams – Kenya, Japan and this weekend’s hosts Uruguay – will showcase their talents on the biggest stage of all at the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

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 semi-finals leading to the third place and gold medal matches.

The Sevens 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 2024 edition of the Challenger competition kicked off with combined men’s and women’s event at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai on 12-14 January. Following the second round in Montevideo the third and final round of the 2024 competition will see 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.

Vice President of Uruguay Beatriz Argimón said: “March 8 is an international day of commemoration of great importance, not only for all women but for all communities. In that sense, the great development that women have had in the different sporting manifestations is important; in this case it is worth pointing out what women mean in rugby.

"Rugby is a sport of discipline, with permanent dedication, with a lot of time and hours of training; it also means a commitment to the comprehensive development of very committed women in a society that increasingly needs women in all areas of life.”

Uruguay men’s captain Diego Ardao said: “We are excited, waiting for Friday to arrive and to play the first game. Since Dubai, we have been waiting for this day with a great desire to play and test ourselves and continue positioning ourselves in the table.

“Last year we were on the Series which gave us many experiences and learnings and made us stronger as a team. We hope this weekend to be able to demonstrate all that and carry out the work we did all these months.

“Obviously, the Olympic Games comes at the end of the season in July. Every test we have between now and then will be a great opportunity to prepare. We are going to go step by step; first the Challenger in Montevideo, then go to Munich and so on. Without a doubt, each step and each day is an opportunity to prepare ourselves.

“We are very happy that the Challenger is in Uruguay and we hope that the fans, family and friends, come to cheer and that the weekend will be a good opportunity to go see Los Teros 7s play and, why not, celebrate.”

Argentina women’s captain María Paula Pedroso said: “We are very excited about this tournament, about taking one more step forward and reaching the grand final. We had very intense training sessions where we were able mainly to polish some defensive issues.

“It helps us to be close to home and have the fans wearing our colours. On this occasion, there is no jetlag and that works in our favour. I send greetings to all women, have a great International Women’s Day on Friday, and especially to those who play a sport as fierce as rugby.

Kenya men’s co-captain Vincent Onyala said: “It is a good feeling having had a stellar performance in the first round in Dubai and we hope to do the same here in Montevideo. We know our fans are out there watching and we are up to the task, we are not going to disappoint you. We will keep going and ultimately we are hopeful to get a podium place at the Olympics.”

World Rugby Chief Competitions and Performance Officer Nigel Cass said: “With more at stake than ever before we are looking forward to an incredibly exciting and competitive World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger competition in Montevideo this weekend.

“This year represents a step change for the Challenger and the high quality and intensity of the competition at the opening round in Dubai gives a great sense of anticipation for this weekend’s event as sevens continues to be at the forefront of rugby’s global growth strategy.

“Our thanks and gratitude to the Uruguayan authorities, the Uruguay Rugby Union, our title partner HSBC and all other stakeholders for the excellent efforts to put on a high quality rugby sevens event this weekend at what is an exciting time for rugby sevens in Uruguay as the countdown to their participation at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 gathers pace. I wish the best of luck to all the teams competing and look forward to witnessing the competition first hand in Montevideo.”   

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