Credit: Matías Matus Acebo / Kawowo Sports

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Uganda will face familiar sevens rivals like Germany, Zimbabwe, and Hong Kong in a twelve-team competition that will follow the Olympic Games competition format.

Although the World Rugby Sevens Series invitations to Dubai and Cape Town in December felt like a knife in the heart, for Uganda Men’s Sevens, 2022 passed as the most successful year in their history.

They won the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens at home in April, featured competitively at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom and World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in Santiago, Chile in August, and won the Bowl at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town, South Africa in September.

Uganda Men’s Sevens fans celebrate during the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town, South Africa Credit: Don Mugabi

2023 is expected to be a similarly crucial calendar year for Tolbert Onyango’s boys.

The Uganda Men’s Sevens will play the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens and the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series.

Two rounds of the Sevens Challenger Series will be held in 2023 with combined men’s and women’s competitions, and a third round will be added the next year. World Rugby announced this development in a press statement today afternoon.

The two rounds of the 2023 edition will be played at Markotter Stadium in Stellenbosch, South Africa on April 20-22 and 28-30.

Uganda will face familiar sevens rivals in a twelve-team competition that will follow the Olympic Games competition format.

These are Zimbabwe, Germany, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Korea, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Italy, and Uganda.

The winning team from this series will enter a four-team playoff at the London Sevens in May 2023 alongside the bottom-three teams from the World Rugby Sevens Series. The winner from this playoff will achieve core status for the World Series in 2024.

The future of the World Rugby Sevens Series

Late last month, World Rugby revealed plans for a remodelled Sevens Series that will start in December 2023.

“The remodelled Sevens World Series will include seven festival style events, in seven iconic global destinations, across seven months, featuring the best 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams and is set to kick off in December 2023,” read a press release from World Rugby.

At the end of this series in 2024, the bottom four teams will compete against the top four teams from the Challenger Series in a relegation playoff which will see four teams secure their places in the next edition of the Series.

Uganda has a clearer picture of where they should set their sights for the future.

Ernest Akorebirungi is Uganda's top rugby writer and commentator with experience in local tournaments like the national XVs competitions and sevens series. He has also reported at international tournaments...

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