Rugby Sevens Series 2023-24 predictions

We are getting very close to a brand-new season of the Sevens Series. There are a lot of changes going into this season, so there will be a lot of new things to look out for.

Stay up-to-date with Rugby predictions

So it seems like a pretty good time to make some predictions about the 2023-24 Sevens Series. I’m sure by the end of the season they will al be proven wrong, but let’s make some predictions anyway.

New Zealand to win the Series

We start off with a predictions which will not surprise a lot of people. Predicting the reigning champions to repeat next year is certainly not a massive shock to anyone, but I think New Zealand have everything they need to continue their success.

New Zealand began the 2022-23 season in pretty poor form, having to wait until the fifth tournament to get a win and the full 22 points. They looked a long way off the pace, but there was no clear contenders in the first few weeks.

So when New Zealand won five tournaments in six, they took control of the championship despite Argentina and Fiji showing good form throughout the season. By the end of the season they were comfortably able to cruise to their 14th World Sevens Series title and first since 2020.

To be fair to New Zealand, the previous years have been massively effected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the first full season back since the pandemic, New Zealand were able to add to their trophy cabinet. New Zealand have repeated as champions before in the past.

They began the 21st century with a six-year run of winning the World Sevens Series, as well as a four-year run as champions in the 2010s. I think New Zealand have the right pieces to be in a position to repeat. For one thing, the squad features a lot of youngsters including Cody Vai, Brady Rush and Leroy Carter who will have a bigger impact.

They also have Akuila Rokolisoa, who was the leading scorer at the final tournament of last season. He will have an even bigger impact next year. While it is not yet confirmed, it sounds like Tim Mikkelson will return for another season and his experience is crucial to this team.

Even with fewer tournaments, I still think that New Zealand will repeat as champions next year.

Fiji to improve and finish second

Fiji were not the team who pushed New Zealand closest last season, but I believe that they will improve after a difficult season and push New Zealand close in the 2023-24 season. Fiji have finished third in back-to-back seasons and went winless last season, something they very rarely do.

Despite no wins, Fiji still scored well throughout the season and ended up five points ahead of France. After a few difficult years, I think Fiji will have a bit of a bounce back in the upcoming season. Fiji have won the Sevens Series three times in the past decade, able to end the long dominant run of New Zealand as well as beating South Africa and the USA.

As always Fiji have an exceptionally exciting squad. Joseva Talacolo was the only player to top score at two different tournaments last season, an incredibly impressive feat. What makes Fiji so exciting is that they are almost completely unstoppable when playing at their best.

Let’s not forget, Fiji are not just Olympic Sevens champions, but they are also Rugby World Cup Sevens champions. On their very best day, Fiji have proven that they can beat any team in the world. I think that streak they are currently on without a win will end pretty soon, despite their being only eight tournaments in the 2023-24 season.

As with all Fiji teams, there is still the chance that some of their superstars decide to move to 15s rugby over sevens and it could hurt the team overall. But if there is any team which are going to push New Zealand the closest throughout the season then it has to be Fiji.

United States continue to struggle

One of the big stories of last season was how much the USA struggled towards the back end of the season. Despite beginning the season in good form, the USA really struggled towards the end of the season and did not even get close to the semi-finals at any point.

Considering they have been a perennial top six team, it was surprising to see teams like Samoa, France and Great Britain ahead of them. They finished 10th in the final season standings, just two points behind Great Britain. I am predicting those struggles to continue.

For one thing, rugby as a whole is not in a good spot in the USA. The 15s team famously missed out on the 2023 Rugby World Cup after a surprise loss to Chile. Perry Baker is still playing at a good level, but considering he is 37 at the start of the season, the USA need other players to step up.

The team has decided to stick with head coach Mike Friday despite the difficult season. Friday does have experience of getting the USA into the top five, but he is going to need to rebuild the squad very soon. With that change coming up, I think the USA will continue to struggle.

They have fewer opportunities this season with only eight tournaments in the entire year. So if the USA get off to a bad start, then it could be another very difficult year for the USA.

Argentina to steady slightly

The standout team outside of New Zealand last year had to be Argentina. They finished the season second, which was their best ever finish in the Sevens Series. In fact it was the first time they had been in the top three since the 2003-04 season, showing just how long a road it has been for Argentina

They finished the season 21 points behind New Zealand, with wins in Hamilton, Vancouver and London. The win in New Zealand would have been the sweetest as they beat New Zealand in the final that weekend in front of a Kiwi crowd. So Argentina are certainly on a high at the moment when it comes to sevens rugby.

I think it is not going to be easy for Argentina to continue this sort of form next year. That is not necessarily down to their own performances getting worse but is more down to the fact that the teams around them seem set to improve. Fiji, Australia and South Africa should all be better this season than they were last year.

That factor combined with Argentina getting lucky a few times last year means that they are likely to take a small step back next season. They still have a very good chance of a top five finish and maybe even a win, but anything more than that is going to be tough for Argentina in the 2023-24 season.

The new format will take some getting used to

The Sevens Series has gone through a massive rebranding along with a lot of format changes for the 2023-24 season. There will now only be eight stages throughout the year, with the eighth being the final which will now be held in Madrid.

The series are putting more emphasis on the festival feel of each tournament and trying to focus on making each weekend as exciting for the fans as possible. This is great for the fans, but losing as many tournaments as they did means that the league is going to be missing out on a decent chunk of money coming in every season.

The other main reason for the change in the number of tournaments is to focus on player safety. There is nothing wrong with player safety and each weekend take a huge amount out of these players. But having just eight tournaments in six months seems like a way too stretched schedule for the sevens series.

Of course this will also partly be to get the players prepared for the Olympics which takes place in the summer of 2024. It is going to take some getting used to that we will not be seeing a huge amount of sevens rugby in the seasons to come.

There is also the massive reduction in core teams. With Kenya, Uruguay and Japan all being relegated from the league there are now only 12 teams in the core league. This means it is going to be a little bit less exciting as we won’t see as many upsets.

I think the format refreshening is good for the Sevens Series in the long term, but I don’t think we are going to see the benefits very soon. It will take a few years for people to get used to the new format and so I think the fans will not massively enjoy the 2023-24 season as some of the details get ironed out.

Stay up-to-date with Rugby predictions

Latest Rugby News & Articles

Stay up to date with the latest rugby news & articles.

Rugby Cups

List of all rugby cups.

Rugby Leagues

List of all rugby leagues.