World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series

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HSBC Sevens Challenger Series
Recent seasons:
2020 Men's Series
2020 Women's Series
World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series logo.png
SportRugby sevens
Inaugural season2020; 2 years ago (2020)
No. of teams16 men's teams
12 women's teams
Most recent
champion(s)
Men's:
 Japan (2020)
Most titlesMen's:
 Japan (1 title)
Level on pyramid2
Promotion toWorld Series (men's)
World Series (women's)

The World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series is an annual series of international rugby sevens tournaments run by World Rugby that includes men's and women's events. Sponsored by banking group HSBC, it is the second tier of competition below the World Rugby Sevens Series. Teams on the respective men's and women's tours of the Challenger Series compete for promotion to the first tier as a core team.[1][2]

The inaugural men's tour for the Challenger Series in 2020 featured events in Chile and Uruguay.[1][3] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, World Rugby postponed the final event in Hong Kong until October 2020.[4][5]

The women's tournament for the Challenger Series in the 2020 season was announced as a stand-alone event hosted in South Africa.[6] On 13 March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, World Rugby postponed the Challenger Series women's event without rescheduling a future date.[7] Subsequently, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan was awarded promotion to the Men's World Rugby Sevens Series as the overall points leader in the Challenger Series. However, no women's team was promoted.[8]

Teams[edit]

There are 16 teams on the men's tour for the 2020 Challenge Series,[9] and 12 teams competing in the women's tournament at Stellenbosch.[6]

Seasons[edit]

2020[edit]

Men's tour[edit]

The proposal for the inaugural Challenger Series, with the best thirteen teams not in the World Series plus three invited teams competing,[10] was well received by the Tongan rugby sevens team, as one of the prospective teams for the Challenger Series. Coach Tevita Tu'ifua said about the news, "We are so excited and very happy and it is a blessing for us to get involved in any tournament for the sake of the rugby sevens programme back home."[11]

The first season of the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series was intended to played over three tournaments, with the first two rounds hosted in South America (Chile, Uruguay) followed by a final knock-out event for the top eight teams to be held alongside the Hong Kong Sevens.[3] Due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the Hong Kong tournament had to be was postponed [4] and eventually cancelled.[12]

Japan, as the top-placed team on the standings after the two completed events, was awarded the Challenger Series title and promoted to the World Rugby Sevens Series as a core team for the 2020–21 season.[12]

Women's tour[edit]

Results[edit]

Men's[edit]

Year Hosts Final Bronze medal match
Gold medal Score Silver medal Bronze medal Score Fourth place
2020
Details
Hong Kong[b]  Japan
(39 pts)
[c]  Hong Kong
(36 pts)
 Germany
(35 pts)
[c]  Chile
(30 pts)
2021 Hong Kong To be determined To be determined

Women's[edit]

Year Hosts Final Bronze medal match
Gold medal Score Silver medal Bronze medal Score Fourth place
2020
Details
Stellenbosch Cancelled Cancelled
2021 To be determined To be determined

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Invited team.[9]
  2. ^ Final playoff event was scheduled for Hong Kong, however, was not played due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. ^ a b Final playoff event was scheduled for Hong Kong, however, was not played due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the event winner, runners-up, third place and fourth placed teams was decided via round-robin with knockout.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "World Rugby launches Sevens Challenger Series". SportBusiness. 17 December 2019. Archived from the original on 16 February 2020.
  2. ^ Nelson, Adam (12 February 2020). "World Rugby unveils inaugural women's HSBC Sevens Challenger Series event". Sport Business. Archived from the original on 16 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b "New Challenger Series to boost rugby sevens' expansion". World Rugby. 17 December 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b "World Rugby update on COVID-19 response measures and statement from Sir Bill Beaumont". World Rugby. 20 March 2020.
  5. ^ "World Rugby Statement: Singapore and Hong Kong Sevens rescheduled". World.Rugby. 13 February 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Sport: PNG to feature in women's Sevens Challenger Series". Radio New Zealand. 12 February 2020. Archived from the original on 14 February 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  7. ^ "World Rugby Statement: HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series postponed". World Rugby. 13 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Plans revised for HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021". World Rugby. 29 July 2020. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Sport: Tonga, PNG included in new Sevens Challenger Series". Radio New Zealand. 18 December 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  10. ^ "New Challenger Series to boost rugby sevens' expansion". World Rugby. 17 December 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Sport: Tonga grateful for new global Sevens series". Radio New Zealand. 23 December 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  12. ^ a b "New Zealand awarded titles as HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 concluded". Asia Rugby. 1 July 2020. Archived from the original on 1 July 2020.