The Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens 2023 tournament is one day away from kickoff at the Harare Sports Club in Harare, Zimbabwe.
This piece revisits the 2022 tournament in the build-up to this weekend’s showdown. Find out the final team rankings, individual award winners, and how the tournament playing formats in the two years differ.
Final Team Rankings:
After two days of entertaining rugby at Kyadondo Rugby Club in Kampala, hosts Uganda were crowned champions while debutants Burundi were the lowest-ranked team.
Final team rankings (Top three qualified for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022):
- Uganda (qualified for Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022)
- Zambia (qualified for Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022)
- Burkina Faso
The top three nations qualified for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa. For the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham (England), Uganda and Zambia represented Africa since second-ranked Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth and Kenya had qualified automatically through the World Rugby Sevens Series.
Individual Award Winners:
In the individual rankings, Uganda’s Philip Wokorach was both the top points scorer (108 points) and the top try scorer (12 tries). By a country mile!
The closest player in the tournament to Wokorach was Tadius Dzandiwandira of Zimbabwe who scored seven tries and nine conversions.
Tournament Playing Format:
The 2023 tournament will differ significantly from how the 2022 tournament was played. Last year, with fourteen nations participating, the first round was used to seed the teams into the Cup and Pool.
see the 2023 pools
This year, however, only twelve teams are participating. They have been grouped into three pools for Day One with the top eight ranked proceeding to the Cup Quarterfinals on Day Two. This follows the now World Rugby-adopted Olympic Games format.
Despite heavy rain disrupting the final day’s proceedings, the 2022 event was such a memorable experience for all in attendance, especially the local fans.
Zimbabwe Rugby Union and the Harare Sports Club are in advanced stages of getting ready to deliver a colourful event from September 16-17.