Sevens has been called “rugby’s best bits”, and while the purists might disagree, it gets to the heart of the game’s attraction. Fast-moving and attention-grabbing, it’s a bite-sized contest that can quickly expose a side’s weakness, but can also show its devastating strengths. Skill, athleticism and an instinctive sporting brain are what divide the merely brilliant from the game’s superstars. Sportsmanship is alive and well – on the pitch and in the grandstand – and, most importantly, it’s an amazing and fun day out. So if you’ve never been to a rugby sevens tournament before, this could be the time to try it. Check out the Rugby Sevens Tickets available on StubHub.
Rugby Sevens – an easy game to love
The intensity of Test rugby aside, sevens brings together many aspects of the game that fans enjoy. Far more than in 15-a-side, the men’s and women’s game have evolved similarly: watching the best male and female players on the international circuit, there’s a closer match in the type of skills on show. With affinities to both league and touch rugby, it appeals to players of all codes. And some of the friendly conventions of traditional tournaments – invitational teams, fielding guest players, and being allowed to “borrow” a player from an eliminated team – are echoes from the amateur era that appeal to the old-time fan in all of us.
It’s also the ultimate social game. Quick hits of action – seven minutes each way, and sometimes ten for finals – mean you can watch a whole tournament in an afternoon or over a weekend, and enjoy plenty of family time, match analysis or refreshments in between. It helps that it’s an easy sport to follow: instead of 15 different positions, sevens squads are made up of all-rounders, with special strengths as either playmakers and strike runners, or enforcers and link players.
There are a range of tournaments around the world, at all levels. Amazingly, the oldest is still going: the beautiful Greenyards ground, in the Scottish Borders, has hosted the Melrose Sevens since the 19th century.
Rugby Sevens – pick your tournament
Sevens rugby is becoming a truly global game. That popularity has been boosted by the sun-soaked Rio Sevens at the 2016 Olympics, but owes much more to the HSBC Sevens World Series. This globetrotting tournament-of-tournaments touches down in iconic venues like Cape Town and Twickenham, but also brings the big-match atmosphere to locations like Las Vegas, Singapore and Dubai. World Rugby Sevens is the stage that brought us players like England’s Dan Norton, the US Eagles’ Madison Hughes and New Zealander Tim Mikkelson – so it’s the perfect place to see a new generation of stars emerge.