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France jumped higher than everyone else during the Aix Marseille Provence FISU WUC Rugby Sevens! (photo: Guillaume Mirand)

After several missed attempts, “Les Bleus” beat South Africa 22-15 to win the men’s tournament. Japan defeated Canada 21-12 in the women’s final of the Aix Marseille Provence 2024 FISU World University Championship Rugby Sevens.

The Aix Marseille Provence 2024 FISU World University Championship Rugby Sevens provided its fair share of sweat, surprises and smiles to fans from all over the world who were able to watch all matches live on during the three days of competition.

The Maurice David stadium in Aix-en-Provence attracted many passionate spectators who cheerfully supported their favourite teams, as well as many school kids who were also able to take part in several side-activities, most of them related to rugby and sport in general.

Thrilling women’s games

The competition started with a surprise in the women’s tournament, as Spain beat South Africa 24-12. Probably a good omen and definitely a confidence-booster since the Spaniards beat Poland 50-0 in the following game and ended up on the third step of the podium!

Gold medalists Japan started strong with nine tries against Mexico and remained strong throughout the competition. They might have worried slightly against Spain, winning only by two points, but their 24-0 victory against South Africa and 27-7 on Australia helped them blossom all the way to the top.

The women’s podium: Japan in gold, Canada with the silver medal and Spain with the bronze.

A medal for each continent in the men’s competition

Despite a very strong tournament, the Japanese men’s team was incapable to retain its title in Aix-en-Provence. Luckily for them, the women’s team secured the gold medal. France showed a very determined face on their home turf throughout the two days of competition, with South Africa and Argentina also performing strongly.

The last game of Pool C was particularly intense as it opposed France and Japan directly. The hosts ended up winning 17-10 in a very close game.

The men’s podium: France in gold, South Africa with the silver medal and Japan with the bronze.

The results of both semi-finals showed clearly who were the best teams in the South of France, with South Africa defeating Japan 36-0 and France beating Argentina 38-12.

In the final, France pursued their path towards gold, scoring the first try against South Africa and stayed in front until the end (22-15).

The final tables

Men’s tournament

1. France
2. South Africa
3. Japan
4. Argentina
5. Australia
6. Poland
7. Spain
8. Chile
9. Singapore
10. India

Women’s tournament

1. Japan
2. Canada
3. Spain
4. Australia
5. France
6. South Africa
7. Ireland
8. Poland
9. India
10. Mexico

Congratulations to all 20 participating teams who will return home with probably a few bumps and bruises but more importantly amazing memories and a lot of precious experiences for their future careers. And congratulations also to the Organising Committee and all volunteers who did a fantastic job.

The FISU flag was passed to the President of University Sport South Africa, Jerry Laka, as Stellenbosch will host the next FISU University World Championship Rugby Sevens in 2026.

Written by Thérèse Courvoisier, photos by Guillaume Mirand