With the inclusion in the next Olympics and the commonwealth games I expect Rugby 7s will quickly become a surprise crowd favourite!!
With the HSBC World Series tournaments in full flow (Australia, Dubai, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, USA, Japan, Scotland & England) each one its own little world cup in a way! Teams range from the big guns to the up and coming teams such as Sri Lanka, Russia, and Portugal. There are literally 100s of tournaments going on throughout the year worldwide for men and women and it’s great to see.
Rugby 7s is already one of the world’s fastest growing sports, largely because it is one of the fastest sports in the world. It’s a thrill ride of non-stop action, with no real rests and amazing feats of speed and strength. As a spectator, it’s literally hard to look away since every play is potentially explosive! At some of last season’s games teams scored on average once every 79 seconds.
The 7s variant started around in 1883, (allegedly) was the brain child of two Melrose gents focussed on raising some money for a local charity event. However despite becoming a success in Scotland, for a few decades the sport struggled to break out of the country. Then in 1926, Dr Russell-Cargill, a Scotsman living in London decided that it was time to spread its wings and developed the Middlesex 7s.
Since then the sport has been on an upward spiral with the Hong Kong 7s established in 1976 and the 7s World Cup emerging in 1993. In recent years its global appeal has seen it become a regular fixture and the sport is now taken so seriously that players are given professional contracts.
However the greatest development in recent times has to be the inclusion of 7s into the Olympics!
Rio 2016 offers 7s the opportunity to hit new heights and will be the perfect torch bearer (excuse pun) to lead the global vision of rugby. Whilst many in the rugby community see 7s as a developmental game, improving specific skill sets for the 15 aside code, its importance should not be discarded!
However rugby 7s not only benefits players on the pitch, but also the fans in the stands. If you have ever experienced a 7s tournament you will be well aware it involves long drink fuelled days (a party), sunbathing (if hot) and a lot of laughs and most recently lots of fancy dress!! Players also take the time to speak to the fans and pose for the occasional selfie or two!
There are now a whole host of tournaments/festivals set up all around the world that embrace all shapes, sizes and ages to play the game. They offer both serious rugby for the top teams who want to flex their big muscles, but also more chilled out competition, for those who just want a laugh and have fun playing some good old fashioned Rugby!
The 7s brand is growing at a rapid pace and really has become the good looking younger brother of fifteen man rugby.
So if you are new to rugby and want an exciting introduction to the sport, try some 7s, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!