The Springboks Women Sevens will compete in next month's Women's World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series. Photo: @WomenBoks/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – World Rugby on Tuesday announced that the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch will host the inaugural Sevens Challenger Series event for women on March 28 and 29.

The standalone event will see 12 teams who have qualified from all six World Rugby regions competing to win a coveted core place on the World Rugby Sevens Series for the 2021 season.

The nations who will compete in Stellenbosch are Argentina, Belgium, China, Colombia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Scotland and hosts South Africa.

The tournament format will see the 12 teams drawn into three pools of four teams that will compete towards a grand final where the winner gains core team status on the World Rugby Sevens Series 2021, replacing the bottom placed core team at the end of this season and providing a clear and consistent pathway for teams to progress to play against the world’s best.

The announcement follows the introduction of the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series for men which kicks off in Viña del Mar, Chile, this weekend.

The Sevens Challenger Series is a new competition designed to boost rugby sevens’ development across the globe. Tuesday’s announcement is just the beginning for women’s participation on the Sevens Challenger Series, which will evolve to feature more rounds across the globe as it grows and develops in future years.

Stellenbosch was selected as host following the ground-breaking women’s World Rugby High Performance Academy which took place at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport in May 2019 and the recent success of having the South African women’s sevens team play as invitational team at the Cape Town Sevens in December.

The Springbok Women's Sevens squad welcomed the news that South Africa will host yet another major international tournament with the inaugural event on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series for women heading to the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

South Africa Rugby president Mark Alexander said: “It is apt that we will host this very exciting tournament in Stellenbosch, as that is where South Africa hosted its first World Series tournament way back in 1999.

“We are thrilled to be hosting the inaugural HSBC Sevens Challenger Series event for women in Stellenbosch and grateful to World Rugby for the opportunity.

“This tournament will provide our enthusiastic supporters with yet another opportunity to see top female Sevens players in action, something we experienced for the first time last year at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens.” 

African News Agency (ANA)