Rugby sevens

Rugby sevens

Rugby sevens is a variant of rugby union in which only seven players per side feature, instead of the full 15. The version of rugby union is very popular, with notable competitions including the IRB Sevens World Series and the Rugby World Cup Sevens. Rugby sevens is also played at events such as the Commonwealth Games. Although it was conceived as an event for rugby union, rugby league has also adopted the sevens format.


Rugby sevens is sanctioned by the (IRB), and is played under substantially the same rules and on a field of the same dimensions as the 15-player game. While a normal rugby union match lasts upwards of 80 minutes, a normal rugby sevens match lasts approximately 15 minutes (allowing for the one-minute half-time break, injury time and so forth). Competition finals last somewhat more than 20 minutes; each half in a competition final is ten minutes instead of the normal seven minutes, and the half-time break can be two minutes. (In the IRB Sevens World Series, only the Cup final, which determines the overall winner of an event, is played with 10-minute halves; all finals for lower-level trophies are played with normal 7-minute halves.cite web|url= |title=2006-07 IRB Sevens World Series Media Guide |format=PDF |publisher=International Rugby Board |accessmonthday=February 10 |accessyear=2007] ) This allows rugby tournaments to be completed in a day or a weekend. However, sevens scores are generally comparable to union scores; scoring occurs with much greater regularity in sevens, since the defenders are more spaced out than in rugby union. Scrums still exist within sevens, composed of just three players from each team. Given the speedy nature of the game, players are usually either from the backline or the trio of loose forwards in fifteens rugby.

Rugby sevens was initially conceived by Ned Haig, a butcher from Melrose, Scotland as a fund-raising event for his local club in 1883. The first ever sevens match was played at the Greenyards, where it was well received. The largest sevens tournament in the world is the Rosslyn Park Schools tournament, with an attendance of over 3,000 schoolchildren from around the world. Rugby Sevens specialists Wellington College have dominated the rugby sevens festival winning 6 times out of the last 9 years with a five year unbeaten spell between 1998-2003. Results from the tournament can be seen on [ The Schools' Rugby Website] . The first ever officially sanctioned international tournament occurred at Murrayfield as part of the "Scottish Rugby Union's celebration of rugby" centenary celebrations in 1973. Due to the success of the format, the ongoing Hong Kong Sevens was launched three years later. In 1993, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, in which the "Melrose Cup" is contested, was launched. Two of the best known sevens competitions are the Hong Kong Sevens and Wellington Sevens, which now make up parts of the IRB Sevens World Series.

Variations to the Laws of the Game

The emphasis of play in Sevens is speed, skill, and fitness. A team is usually comprised entirely of backs, because of their fitness and agility compared to their forward counterparts. Furthermore, players may need to get more creative in making plays, with only 14-20 minutes to play a single game.

There are several variations in laws which apply to Rugby Sevens,cite web|url= |title=Seven-a-side Variations: Standard Set of Variations Appropriate to the Seven-a-side Game |format=PDF |publisher=International Rugby Board |accessmonthday=February 10 |accessyear=2007] primarily to speed up the game and to account for the reduced number of players. The main changes can be summarised as follows:
*7 players per team on field (instead of 15).
*5 reserves, with only 3 interchanges (instead of 7 and 7).
*7-minute halves, 10-minute halves in championships (instead of 40-minute halves).
*1-minute half-time, 2 minutes in championships (instead of 10 minutes).
*Matches drawn after regulation are continued into Sudden Death Extra Time, in 5-minute periods.
*Conversion attempts must be drop-kicked (instead of having the option to place-kick).
*Conversions must be taken within 40 seconds of scoring a try (instead of 60 seconds).
*3-man scrums (instead of 8).
*The scoring team kicks off (instead of the non-scoring team).
*Yellow cards net a 2-minute suspension (instead of 10 minutes).
**Suspensions are more severe in Sevens than in Fifteens. The team plays a man down for 1/7th of the match instead of 1/8th, and losing 1 man out of 7 opens up many more holes than 1 man out of 15.
*Referees decide on advantage quickly (where one play usually ends advantage, not true in fifteens).
*There are additional officials present (in-goal touch judges) to judge success of kicks at goals and hence the game is not delayed waiting for touch judges to move into position to judge conversion attempts.

ummer Olympics

Owing to the speed by which matches are resolved and the minimal personnel requirements, there is hope that sevens will be accepted for Olympic competition (it has been in the Commonwealth Games since 1998). The IRB pointed towards sell-out crowds at Commonwealth Games and World Cup sevens as proof of the sport's popularity. In addition, it would provide a competition in which sporting minnows from regions such as the Pacific, who are able to field competitive rugby teams, could genuinely contend for medals. [Illustrating this point, Fiji are the current holders of the Melrose Cup, the Sevens World Cup trophy. Also, Samoa won two legs of the 2006-07 IRB Sevens, including the prestigious Hong Kong Sevens, and one leg in 2007-08.] However, the International Olympic Committee turned down the bid for the purposes of the 2012 Olympics to be held in London. One IOC official from Switzerland, Dennis Oswald, dismissed the bid declaring: “When it comes to rugby, I am not a specialist, but people within the sport tell me that rugby sevens is something of a joke.” Oswald later confirmed that he had never in fact watched a game of sevens, or indeed, fifteens rugby. Although disappointed, the IRB responded by pointing out that in terms of the Olympic motto: "Citius, Altius, Fortius" (faster, higher, stronger), a rugby player was more likely to possess all of these attributes than competitors within other debatable Olympic events, such as rhythmic gymnastics. The IRB has recently moved to counter criticisms that it only proposed for a male Olympic tournament, establishing a series of Sevens events for women; the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens will include a women's championship for the first time.

Major tournaments

* Melrose Sevens
* Rugby World Cup Sevens
* IRB Sevens World Series, which currently includes:
** Adelaide Sevens
** Dubai Sevens
** Edinburgh Sevens
** Hong Kong Sevens
** London Sevens
** South Africa Sevens
** USA Sevens
** Wellington Sevens
* Middlesex Sevens
* The National Schools 7's, (Rosslyn Park, London)
* Commonwealth Games
* Safari Sevens
* Kinsale Sevens, (Kinsale, Ireland)
* Singer Sri Lankan Airlines Rugby 7's
* Heineken Sevens (Amsterdam, Holland)

FIRA European Sevens

2005 FIRA European Sevens

Portugal defeated Russia 28-26 in a pulsating climax to the Grand Final of the 2005 FIRA European Sevens in Moscow to retain the trophy they have won for the last three years. Spain won the Plate with a 25-14 win over Germany, whilst Lithuania claimed the Bowl. Portugal topped their group on day one, recording four victories and a 7-7 draw, against Italy. In Pool B, Russia delighted the home fans with five wins out of five, including a 33-7 victory over France. They followed that up on day two by defeating Italy 17-0 in the Cup semi-finals, whilst Portugal beat France 22-7.oratory sevens

Notable Sevens Players

* Waisale Serevi (Fiji 7s & Flying Fijians)
* Eric Rush (New Zealand 7s & Allblack)
* David Campese (Australia 7s & Wallaby)
* Christian Cullen (New Zealand 7s & Allblack)
* Rupeni Caucaunibuca (Fiji 7s & Flying Fijians)
* Jonah Lomu (New Zealand 7s & Allblack)
* Santiago Gómez Cora (Argentina) — all-time leading try scorer in the IRB Sevens World Series
* Ben Gollings (England)
* Fabian Juries (South Africa)
* Vilimoni Delasau (Fiji 7s & Flying Fijians)
* Simon Amor (England)
* Tom Varndell (England 7s & 15s)
* Lote Tuqiri (Australia & Wallaby)
* Zinzan Brooke (New Zealand 7s & Allblack)
* Josevata Rokocoko (New Zealand 7s & Allblack)
* William Ryder (Fiji)
* John Schuster (New Zealand 7s & Allblack)
* Joeli Vidiri (Fiji 7s & Flying Fijians / New Zealand 7s & Allblack)
* Rodney So'oialo (New Zealand 7s & Allblack)
* Mils Muliaina (New Zealand 7s & Allblack)
* Mathew Tait (England 7s & 15s)
* David Strettle (England 7s & 15s)
* Lawrence Dallaglio (England 7s & 15s)
* James Haskell (England 7s & 15s)
* Uale Mai (Samoa)
* Rico Gear (New Zealand 7s & Allblack)
* Glen Osbourne (New Zealand 7s & Allblack)
* Matt Giteau (Australia 7s & Wallaby)
* Willie Ofahengaue (Australia 7s & Wallaby)
* Ilivasi Tabua (Australia 7s & Wallaby)
* Julien Malzieu (France 7s & 15s)
* Semisi Naevo (Fiji 7s & Flying Fijians)
* Chris Masoe (New Zealand 7s & Allblack)
* Jerome Kaino (New Zealand 7s & Allblack)
* Mesake Rasari (Fiji 7s & Flying Fijians)
* Brian Lima (Samoa 7s & Manu Samoa)
* Noa Nadruku (Fiji 7s & Flying Fijians / Rugby league - Canberra Raiders)
* Peter Miller (Australia)
* Nili Latu (Tonga 7s & Ikeletahi)
* Amasio Raoma Valence (New Zealand)
* Sosene Anesi (New Zealand 7s & Allblack)
* James Hook (Wales 7s & 15s)
* Brian Lima (Samoa 7s & 15's}
* Doug Howlett (All Black 7s & 15's)
* Daisuke Ohata (All Time leading Rugby Union Try Scorer}
* Lifeimi Mafi (Tongan 7's All Black,Tongan and Irish Union Player)
* Felipe Contepomi (Argentine 7s Rugby Union world Player 2004,2005)
* David Wallace (Ireland 7s Rugby Union & Twice HC Cup Winner)
* Olly Barkley (England 7s Rugby Union)

Rugby league sevens

Rugby league may also be played under seven-a-side rules, though this is less common as an alternative when compared with rugby league nines. The game is substantially the same as full rugby league, however scrums involve only three players per team, and all kicks at goal must be made by drop-kicks. The major tournament was the World Sevens played prior to the start of the National Rugby League season in Sydney, but the tournament has been cancelled.

Rugby league sevens is particularly popular with pub teams — formed from the regulars at a particular public house, the reason for this is that it is often difficult for a single pub to form a full squad of 13 players and four substitutes of willing players.

Women's Rugby sevens

Women's rugby sevens is dominated by New Zealand, with either the New Zealand team (1999-2001) or Aotearoa Maori Women’s Rugby sevens team (playing as New Zealand) [] winning all of the Hong Kong sevens up through 2007. However, the United States was the winner of Hong Kong Sevens in 2008. The inaugural Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament will be held in 2009 in Dubai in conjunction with the men’s tournament. Other strong nations in women's sevens are Australia and the USA.

Women's rugby sevens may be added to the Commonwealth Games in 2014 or 2018.


ee also

*Ned Haig - founder of sevens game
*Rugby Sevens at the 2006 Commonwealth Games
*Comparison of rugby union and rugby sevens

External links

* [ IRB (union) Sevens official website]
* [ Hong Kong Sevens Official Web Site]

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