The sevens circuit continues this weekend as the tour hits Europe for the 2023-24 HSBC SVNS Series Grand Final in Madrid.

This is a new dawn for the 7s series, with the Madrid 7s hosting an all-new format to conclude the series. This is a winner-takes-all event, with the top eight teams from the tour taking part to be crowned the first-ever winners of the Grand Final.

There is also the added bonus of the playoff series. This features the bottom four teams from the regular season and the top four countries from the Challenger Series. The four teams that come through the promotion/relegation-style playoffs will be the final four core teams for the 2024-25 7s World Tour.

2024 Madrid 7s Preview

2024 Madrid 7s Odds To Win (BetXchange)

The favorite to win the Grand Final is not the team at the top of the log after the regular season. Argentina started the tour outstandingly, winning three of the opening four rounds and finishing second in the only tournament they didn’t win. Unfortunately, the team has called off since then, finishing fifth in Los Angeles and Singapore and a lowly ninth in Hong Kong.

It is also not the team in second place, though Ireland did finish the year in better form than Argentina. The Irish have been consistent for most of the series, peaking at the right time with two bronze medals and a sliver in the final three events. Ireland’s biggest problem in the minds of the bookies is that they haven’t been able to break through and win an event despite a host of top-end finishes.

Instead, the favorites are the team that finished third overall and the team that crushed at the end of the regular season. New Zealand won the gold in Hong Kong and Singapore, signaling their intent for this end-of-season finale. It does feel like they will be very hard to beat now that their focus is in the right place.

2024 Madrid 7s: Pool Stages

Pool A

The team to keep an eye on here is France. They have named Antoine Dupont in their squad for this event, both in a statement of intent to win and with an eye toward the Olympic Games in Paris this summer. Dupont, arguably the best 15s player on the planet, immediately makes this French side a threat to win the whole event despite finishing fifth on the log during the regular season.

Pool B

New Zealand is red hot, while Fiji can always turn on the style and win a 7s event. The Fijians have been disappointing this season, with a bronze finish in Cape Town their best effort on the circuit.

The Springboks are also in Pool B. To reach the semifinals, South Africa has to finish in the top two places in the pool, a daunting prospect given their lack of form combined with how New Zealand and Ireland finished the season.

South Africa is, however, one of the four countries to have won an event during the 2023-25 season, claiming the Dubai crown at the beginning of the tour. That winning mentality could lift them out of this pool and into the knockout rounds.


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