Imbokodo look to next season after sevens disappointment

The Springbok Women’s Sevens side will not give up on their drive to become a core team in the Sevens Series despite the cancellation of the inaugural Challenger Series.

The Stellenbosch-based event, which was originally scheduled for 28-29 March in Stellenbosch but then postponed, has now been officially cancelled as World Rugby adjusted their tournament schedules due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Challenger Series was launched by World Rugby earlier this year to boost rugby sevens’ development across the globe, particularly in emerging nations, and this objective remains a key priority providing a promotion pathway into the Sevens Series.

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There will be no promotion or relegation in the women’s series this year due to the cancellation of the inaugural Challenger Series event in Stellenbosch. This leaves the Imbokodo outside the 11 core teams and dependent on invites to play in World Series events.

The Springbok Women’s Sevens team – also known as the Imbokodo – won Rugby Africa’s Sevens title last year and played in the Cape Town Sevens in December, when 12 women’s teams participated for the first time. South Africa finished 10th in Cape Town.

‘We are all fully respectful and supportive of World Rugby’s decision,’ coach Paul Delport said.

‘It does mean that we will only be able to contest for a core spot next season, which is not what we had planned for, but other teams such as China, Japan and Kenya are in the same position.

‘We need to make the best of the extended time created by this and we are keen to do so.’

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