Best Rugby 7s Competitions in the World and what to follow

Rugby sevens is an incredibly exciting sport with some of the fastest and most agile players in the world. It is a brilliant spectacle whenever you can catch a game of Rugby 7s. Within the sport there are some really exciting competitions.

Rugby Sevens at the Olympic Games

The Olympics is certainly not something that you associate with Rugby sevens. Rugby in general has very rarely featured at the Olympics as it is not the sort of sport that the Olympics usually is looking to show. There was an unsuccessful bid for the sport to join the Olympics in 1932.

Rugby Sevens made another bid to join the Olympics in 2005 alongside golf, karate, roller sports and squash to join the Olympics in 2012. This bid was unsuccessful as the board instead preferred Karate and Squash.

But this did not put off the sport and the International Rugby Board made another bid to the IOC for the sport to join the Olympics in 2016. Some of the biggest names in the history of rugby were involved in the bid, with Jonah Lomu and Lawrence Dallaglio both being ambassadors for the bid.

In October 2009, it was voted that Rugby Sevens would be included in the 2016 Olympics for the very first time. It was a huge moment for rugby sevens and gave It an international stage. The first games that the sport featured was the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. 12 teams qualified for the men’s and women’s tournaments.

Qualification for the World Cup tends to be through various ways including the Sevens World Series and different regional tournaments including the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series and the Oceania Sevens Championship. The 12 teams are split into three groups and they play each other once.

At the end of the three games, the top two sides in each group automatically qualify for the quarter-finals. The two best third placed teams will also advance to the quarter-finals, with New Zealand reaching the knockout stages in 2016 by just a single point on points difference as they were tired with the United States on 5 points.

Both the men’s and women’s tournament go through the knockout stages to decide the winner. In the very first tournament, Fiji dominated the tournament with big wins over Japan and Great Britain on their way to winning the gold medal. This was the country’s first medal of any kind. In the women’s tournament, it was a great final between Australia and New Zealand, with Australia coming out on top.

The sport was so successful that it was again included in the Olympics for the 2020 games in Tokyo. It was again 12 teams that qualified for the tournament through various different championships. Both the men’s and the women’s tournament ran the same way and had some very similar results.

In the men’s tournament, Fiji again cruised through to the gold medal, with all of their knockout games being decided by more than two scores. New Zealand claimed the silver medal, while Argentina beat Great Britain in the bronze medal match. In the women’s tournament, reigning champions Australia lost in the quarter-finals and it led to 2016 silver medallists New Zealand claiming the gold.

The two tournaments that we have seen so far have been excellent to watch. There has already been overtime games and the tournaments are bringing in big crowds. Rugby sevens being at the Olympics puts it onto the world stage and tends to bring a lot more eyes than any of the other competitions on this list.

Despite only being created in 2016, Rugby sevens at the Olympics is often seen as the biggest tournament in the sport. One of the great things that the sport does is run the men’s and women’s tournaments separately. In 2020, the men’s tournament was played over the first three days, with the women’s tournament running in the three days after.

So when these six days come, it is some of the best rugby sevens that you will see. It may not be the best competition to follow as it only occurs once every four years. But it is a huge tournament and probably the best that you can follow in the sport. Rugby sevens will once again be in the Olympics in 2024.

Rugby World Cup Sevens

In 1987, the Rugby World Cup was created for rugby 15s. Sevens rugby was not far behind, with the very first tournament being created in 1993. This came after the Scottish Rugby Union made a proposal for the tournament to the International Rugby Board, with the very first tournament being held in Scotland.

England would win the very first tournament, beating Australia in the final. Hong Kong may not have much of a history in Rugby 15s, but it was crucial to the creation and development of Rugby Sevens. That is why they hosted the second Rugby World Cup Sevens, with Fiji winning the tournament over South Africa.

Argentina hosted the third World Cup and New Zealand won their first title. One of the reasons why the Rugby World Cup Sevens can be more interesting than the Rugby 15s World Cup is because it goes to some pretty crazy places for the World Cup. The 2005 tournament returned to Hong Kong.

The 2009 tournament went to a place with very little rugby history. There were several bids for the tournament, but the IRB wanted to go somewhere that has significant financial funding and chose Abu Dhabi as the host of the tournament. It is not as crazy as you think, with the Dubai Sevens tournament being a massive success in the years leading up to that decision.

It was a really big step for rugby as it was the first major tournament to be held in the Middle East. Wales came out of the tournament as winners, beating Argentina in the final. World Rugby once again chose a very interesting place as the host, with the Rugby Union of Russia hosting the 2013 tournament.

The 2013 tournament was the first of back to back titles for New Zealand, comfortably beating England in both finals. There was a slightly longer break between these two World Cup titles as the next tournament was held in 2018. This was so that Rugby Sevens could be properly implemented in the Olympics.

The 2018 tournament was one where World Rugby began their campaign of looking to expand the sport into the US market and it is why San Francisco held the tournament. The most recent tournament was in 2022. South Africa won the right to host the tournament despite bids from 11 different unions including Scotland, Jamaica and France.

It was a great tournament and the Rugby World Cup Sevens is one of the best tournaments to watch. The tournament only runs for three days and it is some of the most action packed rugby games in the world. The reason why the World Cup is so special is that it really does determine the best Rugby Sevens team in the world and features all of the best players.

There are more reasons why it is great to watch the Rugby World Cup Sevens. One of the main ones is that Rugby Sevens tends to draw more teams than the Rugby 15s World Cup. Fiji are the dominant team in Rugby Sevens, having won the World Cup three times, despite failing to reach a World Cup Final in the Rugby 15s.

Wales have also never made it past the Semi-Final stage in Rugby 15s and yet the country were Rugby Sevens World champions back in 2009. The 2022 tournament featured countries like Uganda, Uruguay, Hong Kong and South Korea. The tournament features four more teams than the 15s tournament.

The game attracts more countries as less players are required. Having less players on the pitch also tends to make the game much more exciting. Less players on the pitch means more space and the Rugby World Cup games are usually thrilling with lots of tries and athletic ability.

It can be annoying that the tournament is only once every four years, particularly as it only lasts for three days once its gets to the tournament. However, this is what makes the tournament so exciting and an absolute must watch.

World Rugby Sevens Series

The World Rugby Sevens Series is not really one tournament, but it is certainly still something to watch. The competition runs over seven months and the current competition covers eleven tournaments across ten different countries that include some of the biggest and best countries in the world.

The tournament was organised for the first time to begin in 1999 and it was created as a way to promote Rugby Sevens internationally. Having all of these tournaments all over the world being part of an overall series makes every tournament mean a lot more than if they were just on their own.

When the tournament was first created it was played in Dubai, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Fiji, Uruguay, Hong Kong and France. After one season of the tournament, Singapore and London joined the competition with their tournaments. This list has changed massively and there have been many countries who have hosted a tournament.

We have also seen countries like Wales, Spain, Scotland, China and Argentina host a tournament that featured in the competition. The World Rugby Sevens Series is a truly international competition and it is hosted at some of the best rugby stadiums in the world.

The current competition features historic rugby stadiums like Cape Town Stadium, Twickenham and the FMG Stadium Waikato. Covid-19 had some big implications on the tournament as there were quite a few hosts who had to cancel, but it led to new countries getting their first chance to host.

The series features the very best international teams in the world including New Zealand, Fiji and South Africa. New Zealand have been the dominant team in the competition pretty much from the beginning. They won the first six series with Fiji and England finishing second in two of those competitions each.

Fiji became the second team to win the title in 2006, with reigning champions New Zealand dropping all the way down to fourth. But New Zealand bounced back with two wins behind players like DJ Forbes and Tomasi Cama Jr. South Africa and Samo claimed titles in 2009 and 2010 respectively before another run of New Zealand dominance began.

The All Blacks won four straight titles with South Africa finishing second in three of those. But since that 2014 title, New Zealand have only won one more title. South Africa and Fiji have begun establishing themselves as strong powers in Sevens Rugby. Both teams have won three titles each in that time, some coming due to a Covid-19 hit tournament.

New Zealand have been unlucky in the last few tournaments as Covid-19 has meant they have not competed fully in the last two competitions. Reigning champions Australia benefitted from teams like New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa all missing tournaments in the most recent competition.

It means that the 2022-23 competition looks to be one of the most exciting in the history of the tournament. It will feature 15 teams including newly promoted side Uruguay. Uruguay are getting the opportunity because they won the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series. The promotion and relegation involved makes the tournament more exciting.

As Rugby Sevens is biggest on the international stage, this competition is most similar to the league format that we see in domestic Rugby 15s. There is another crucial reason which makes it one of the best competitions to follow. The World Rugby Sevens Series happens every year and has some brilliant tournaments in the best places to play rugby in the world.

Within the series itself there are some historic tournaments in their own right, with a few of the tournaments standing out above the rest.

Hong Kong Sevens

Despite having very little history in Rugby 15s, Hong Kong has been crucial in the development of Rugby Sevens. Some of that history is through the Hong Kong Sevens tournament which was founded in 1976.

The tournament was originally teams from South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Japan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Fiji. Since then the tournament has expanded massively and it is one of the most commercialised tournaments in the world. This is what has really helped the success of the tournament.

After a few years of regional sides, the tournament quickly became an international competition with the introduction of teams like Fiji, New Zealand and Australia. Fiji were one of the first national teams to join the tournament and it is part of why they won three of the first five tournaments.

The competition featured some rugby legends like Eric Rush and Jonah Lomu, with the reputation of the tournament developing through the 1980s. Throughout this time, New Zealand began to become one of the most successful teams in the tournament, even when they were losing in the final to Fiji.

As the tournament was so historic and well organised, it was always going to be part of the World Rugby Sevens Series when it was created in 1999. The way that the tournament is organised is that it is usually six pools of four teams who play round robin within their pool.

As the tournament is considered to be more prestigious and important than the others, teams are awarded 30 points in the World Sevens series if they win the Hong Kong Sevens. It is part of the reason why Fiji have been incredibly successful in the World Sevens Series as they have won the Hong Kong Sevens tournament 19 times.

New Zealand are the second most successful team with 11 titles and it is a good ground for England who have 4 titles. It is brilliant to see a rugby tournament being so popular in a region where rugby is not massive. The prestigious history and importance of the tournament makes it one of the best to follow in Rugby Sevens.

London Sevens

The sport of Rugby Union was created in England, so the country has a rich history in Rugby. Sevens rugby has never been quite as big as the 15s game, but that does not mean that the London Sevens tournament is not a brilliant one to watch.

The London Sevens is the annual tournament that is held at the home of rugby Twickenham. The tournament was designed so that rugby could hold a stop on the World Tugby Sevens Series. It was initially introduced as the final event of the series due to the size of the event and the weather being better towards the summer in England.

Despite being the host team, England are not the most successful team in the tournament. They did win three titles in the first nine years of the tournament, but have not won the competition in the last decade. Much like the rest of Rugby Sevens, New Zealand and Fiji are the dominant sides, with Scotland and the United States claiming some surprise tournament wins.

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