On the first weekend of October 2021, top tier men’s rugby clubs in Uganda will play their first competitive rugby sevens tournament in two years when they run onto the pitch during the Mileke Sevens.

The series returns in its second installment with an exciting partnership between Uganda Rugby Union and alcoholic beverage brand, Guinness Uganda.

Here is a summary of all you need to know about the 2021 series. From series rules and format to what happens in the event that it is not completed. Not forgetting, of course, the COVID-19 protocols.

Series and tournament rules and format

  • The series will be played by ten core teams for all circuits and six invitational teams determined by URU for each circuit.
  • The tournaments will be played according to the current World Rugby Laws and Regulations. This includes the current law trials like the 50-22 lineout throw-in and rolling substitutes.
  • All tournaments in the series will follow the format of a four-team pool stage followed by a knockout stage from the quarterfinals.
  • Three, two and one points respectively will be awarded for a win, draw and loss in the pool stage.
  • All teams taking part in the series will receive points according to their ranking at the end of each circuit. The team with the most points at the conclusion of the series will be the overall winner of the series.
  • Guinness Uganda has improved the prize money on offer for the winning teams during the series. The winner at the end of each circuit will receive a UGX 500,000 cash prize. The overall winner at the end of the series will receive UGX 3 million while the second and third placed teams will receive UGX 2 million and UGX 1 million respectively.

Relegation and promotion

  • The tenth-placed core team at the conclusion of the 2021 series will be relegated.
  • The team to be promoted for the 2022 series will be the winner of the qualification tournament to be played in October this year.
Rhinos vs Buffaloes during a Sevens tournament at Kyadondo

COVID-19 Protocols

  • All players for all teams must present a negative COVID-19 test result from at most 24 hours to the start of the tournament. The COVID-19 tests will be repeated every fortnight.
  • A player who tests positive will not be allowed to participate in the tournament. Teams will be allowed to replace that player before the start of the tournament.
  • No fans will be allowed in the venues during the tournaments.

Failure to complete the 2021 series

  • If no more than three circuits (50% of the scheduled circuits in the series) have been played, the 2021 series will be cancelled. No winner will be awarded, and no team will be relegated or promoted.
  • If four or more circuits have been played, the 2021 series will have been concluded and the winner at that point will be awarded.

Ernest Akorebirungi is an amateur rugby player and a keen follower of local Ugandan rugby.

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