Rugby World Cup Sevens
Current season or competition:
2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens
Rugby World Cup Sevens logo.png
SportRugby union
Inaugural season1993 (men)
2009 (women)
Number of teams24 (men)
16 (women)
Holders Fiji (men) (2022)
 Australia (women) (2022)
Most titles New Zealand  Fiji (men)
(3 titles)
 New Zealand  Australia (women)
(2 titles)
Websiterwcsevens.com

Rugby World Cup Sevens (RWCS) is the quadrennial world championship of rugby sevens, a variant of rugby union. Organised by World Rugby, it currently consists of men's and women's tournaments, and is the highest level of competition in the sport outside of the Summer Olympics.

The first tournament was held in 1993 in Scotland, and was won by England. The winners of the men's tournament are awarded the Melrose Cup, named after the Scottish town of Melrose where the first rugby sevens game was played.[1] A women's tournament was introduced at the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai, and was first won by Australia.

After the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens, the tournament took an extended, five-year hiatus to allow the integration of rugby sevens at the Summer Olympics into the competitive calendar. The 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens was held at Cape Town Stadium, in Cape Town, South Africa, with Fiji winning the men's tournament and Australia winning the women's tournament.

History

The Rugby World Cup Sevens originated with a proposal by the Scottish Rugby Union to the International Rugby Board.[citation needed] The inaugural tournament was held at Murrayfield in Edinburgh in 1993, and has been held every four years since. England won the inaugural tournament, defeating Australia 21–17 in the final.

Hong Kong, which had played a major role in the international development of the Sevens game, hosted the 1997 event. The final was won by Fiji over South Africa. The 2001 tournament was held in Mar del Plata, Argentina. The 2005 event returned to Hong Kong.

At the 2009 tournament, Wales, Samoa, Argentina and Kenya combined to stun the rugby world by defeating the traditional powerhouses of New Zealand, England, South Africa and Fiji in the quarter-finals, guaranteeing a new Melrose Cup winner. Wales and Argentina met in the final, with Wales triumphing 19–12.

The IRB made a submission to the International Olympic Committee in 2005 for rugby sevens to become an Olympic sport. However, the submission failed because committee members felt IRB needed to improve promotion of the women's game.[citation needed] To that end, the IRB implemented the first women's Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in 2009.[2] The 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens was held in Dubai during the first weekend of March 2009 and included a separate women's tournament. Cumulative attendance was 78,000.[2]

Prior to the inclusion of rugby sevens into the Olympic Games, the IRB stated that their intention would be to end the World Cup Sevens so that the Olympic Games would be the one pinnacle in a four-year cycle for Rugby Sevens.[3] The adoption of rugby sevens and golf was recommended to the full International Olympic Committee council by its executive board in August 2009.[4] The International Olympic Committee voted in 2009 for rugby sevens to become a medal event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.[5]

The IRB Council in 2010 awarded the hosting of the 2013 tournament to Moscow, Russia from a field of eight nations that had expressed formal interest in hosting.[6] The IRB intended that the exposure to rugby from hosting the World Cup Sevens would accelerate the growth of rugby in Russia.[6] It featured 24 men's teams and 16 women's teams.[7][8]

The IRB originally intended to discontinue Rugby World Cup Sevens after the 2013 edition, in favour of the Olympic tournament. However, it was later decided in 2013 that the tournament would continue to be held, as it can accommodate a larger field than the Olympic rugby sevens tournaments, and would allow an elite-level competition to take place biennially from 2016.[7][8] The next tournament would be held in 2018, one year later than usual, in order to accommodate the integration of the Olympics into the competitive calendar.[7][8] On 13 May 2015, it was announced that the United States would host the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens.[9]

Attendance

Tournament Attendance
Year Total Attendance Average Daily Attendance
1993
1997
2001
2005 120,000[10] 40,000
2009 78,000[11] 26,000
2013
2018 100,000[12] 33,333
2022 105,000[13] 35,000

Men's tournament

Ed. Year Host First place game Losing semifinalists Num.
teams
1st place, gold medalist(s) Champion Score 2nd place, silver medalist(s) Runner-up
1 1993 Scotland Edinburgh
England
21–17
Australia

Fiji

Ireland
24
2 1997 Hong Kong Hong Kong
Fiji
24–21
South Africa

New Zealand

Samoa
24
3 2001 Argentina Mar del Plata
New Zealand
31–12
Australia

Argentina

Fiji
24
4 2005 Hong Kong Hong Kong
Fiji
29–19
New Zealand

Australia

England
24
5 2009 United Arab Emirates Dubai
Wales
19–12
Argentina

Kenya

Samoa
24
6 2013 Russia Moscow
New Zealand
33–0
England

Fiji

Kenya
24
7 2018 United States San Francisco
New Zealand
33–12
England

Fiji

South Africa
24
8 2022 South Africa Cape Town
Fiji
29–12
New Zealand

Ireland

Australia
24

Notable players

Player of the Tournament
Year Champion Player
1993  England England Lawrence Dallaglio
1997  Fiji Fiji Waisale Serevi[14]
2001  New Zealand New Zealand Jonah Lomu
2005  Fiji Fiji Waisale Serevi[14]
2009  Wales Wales Tal Selley[15]
2013  New Zealand New Zealand Tim Mikkelson[16]
2018  New Zealand New Zealand Scott Curry
2022  Fiji Fiji Kaminieli Rasaku[17]

The 2001 tournament added another chapter to the legend of New Zealand's Jonah Lomu. Lomu, used sparingly in pool play, received his opportunity when New Zealand captain Eric Rush broke his leg in the last pool match. Lomu went on to score three tries in the final.

In 2005, Waisale Serevi came out of international retirement to captain and lead Fiji to their second Melrose Cup. At the 2009 tournament, Wales defeated Argentina 19–12 in the final, and Wales' Taliesin Selley was named player of the tournament.

Player Records

The top all-time try-scorer for the Rugby World Cup Sevens is Fijian winger Marika Vunibaka, who scored 23 tries in three of the Sevens World Cups he played in from 1997 to 2005. Serevi ranks second with 19 career World Cup Sevens tries, over four tournaments from 1993 to 2005.[18] Brian Lima ranks third with 17 tries. The top points scorers are Serevi with 297 points, Vunibaka with 115 points, and Lima with 101 points.[19]

Up to date as of 12 September 2022

Results by nation

Team Scotland
1993
Hong Kong
1997
Argentina
2001
Hong Kong
2005
United Arab Emirates
2009
Russia
2013
United States
2018
South Africa
2022
Years
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf Arabian Gulf 21st 1
 Argentina 9th 13th 3rd 5th 2nd 11th 5th 5th 8
 Australia 2nd 5th 2nd 3rd 10th 5th 10th 4th 8
 Canada 15th 21st 5th 18th 13th 9th 12th 13th 8
 Chile 17th 17th 14th 3
 Cook Islands 11th 13th 2
 Chinese Taipei 21st 21st 21st 3
 England 1st 5th 5th 3rd 5th 2nd 2nd 9th 8
 Fiji 3rd 1st 3rd 1st 5th 3rd 4th 1st 8
 France 15th 5th 21st 5th 13th 5th 8th 6th 8
 Georgia 10th 11th 21st 19th 4
 Germany 18th 1
 Ireland 3rd 19th 19th 13th 18th 9th 3rd 7
 Italy 17th 17th 21st 3
 Hong Kong 17th 10th 21st 21st 19th 21st 18th 19th 8
 Jamaica 24th 24th 2
 Japan 13th 17th 13th 13th 21st 18th 15th 7
 Kenya 19th 19th 3rd 4th 16th 12th 6
 South Korea 11th 5th 13th 21st 21st 5
 Latvia 21st 1
 Morocco 19th 1
 Namibia 21st 21st 2
 Netherlands 21st 1
 New Zealand 7th 3rd 1st 2nd 5th 1st 1st 2nd 8
 Papua New Guinea 21st 1
 Philippines 21st 1
 Portugal 21st 18th 10th 11th 13th 22nd 6
 Romania 17th 13th 2
 Russia 9th 11th 17th 14th 4
 South Africa 5th 2nd 5th 5th 5th 5th 3rd 7th 8
 Samoa 5th 3rd 5th 9th 3rd 10th 13th 8th 8
 Scotland 14th 11th 5th 9th 11th 7th 16th 7
 Spain 10th 13th 11th 21st 4
 Tonga 7th 9th 19th 11th 13th 22nd 20th 7
 Tunisia 13th 13th 21st 3
 Uganda 19th 17th 2
 Uruguay 21st 19th 19th 20th 10th 5
 United States 17th 18th 13th 13th 13th 13th 6th 11th 8
 Wales 11th 13th 11th 1st 5th 11th 15th 7
 Zimbabwe 21st 21st 17th 13th 23rd 23rd 6

Women's tournament

Ed. Year Host First place game Losing semifinalists Num.
teams
1st place, gold medalist(s) Champion Score 2nd place, silver medalist(s) Runner-up
1 2009
Australia
15–10
New Zealand

United States

South Africa
16
2 2013
New Zealand
29–12
Canada

United States

Spain
16
3 2018
New Zealand
29–0
France

Australia

United States
16
4 2022
Australia
24–22
New Zealand

France

United States
16

Results by nation

Team United Arab Emirates
2009
Russia
2013
United States
2018
South Africa
2022
Years
 Australia 1st 5th 3rd 1st 4
 Brazil 10th 13th 13th 11th 4
 Canada 6th 2nd 7th 6th 4
 China 9th 11th 12th 13th 4
 Colombia 16th 1
 England 5th 6th 9th 8th 4
 Fiji 9th 11th 5th 3
 France 7th 11th 2nd 3rd 4
 Ireland 7th 6th 7th 3
 Italy 11th 1
 Japan 13th 13th 10th 9th 4
 Madagascar 15th 1
 Mexico 16th 1
 Netherlands 13th 10th 2
 New Zealand 2nd 1st 1st 2nd 4
 Papua New Guinea 15th 1
 Poland 10th 1
 Russia 11th 7th 8th 3
 South Africa 4th 13th 14th 14th 4
 Spain 7th 4th 5th 12th 4
 Thailand 13th 1
 Tunisia 13th 1
 United States 3rd 3rd 4th 4th 4
 Uganda 13th 1

See also

References

  1. ^ "Scotland 7s players Melrose bound - Scottish Rugby Union". Scottishrugby.org.
  2. ^ a b "Tietjens backs sevens Olympic bid", ESPN, (13 August 2009), Retrieved 29 March 2011
  3. ^ RWC Sevens to be scrapped for Olympics, ESPN, 27 May 2009 Retrieved 24 February 2011
  4. ^ Lowe, Alex (7 October 2009). "Lomu lends his weight to rugby sevens Olympic bid", The Scotsman. Retrieved 29 March 2011
  5. ^ John Duce, (27 March 2011). "New Zealand Beat England 29–17 to Win Hong Kong Rugby Sevens", Bloomberg, Retrieved 29 March 2011
  6. ^ a b "Russia to host Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013". IRB.com. 12 May 2010. Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "Future of Rugby World Cup Sevens confirmed". RWC Sevens. 12 June 2013. Archived from the original on 14 August 2013.
  8. ^ a b c Sallay, Alvin (29 March 2011). "IRB under pressure to save World Cup Sevens", South China Morning Post
  9. ^ "USA to host Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018". Worldrugby.org.
  10. ^ "Record interest in Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009". espnscrum. Retrieved 3 October 2022.
  11. ^ "Rugby parties in Dubai's Sevens heaven". CNN. Retrieved 14 September 2022.
  12. ^ "Rugby World Cup Sevens: New Zealand wins historic title". CNN. Retrieved 3 October 2022.
  13. ^ "RECORD NUMBERS ATTENDED AFRICA'S FIRST EVER RUGBY WORLD CUP SEVENS IN CAPE TOWN". EWN. Retrieved 14 September 2022.
  14. ^ a b "Hong Kong Sevens - Fiji's Waisale Serevi Is Sixth Member of 'The Hong Kong Magnificent Seven'". hksevens.com.
  15. ^ Clutton, Graham (18 March 2009). "Wales Sevens coach Paul John rings changes ahead of World Series in Hong Kong". Archived from the original on 12 January 2022 – via telegraph.co.uk.
  16. ^ "Mooloos set to lose Tim Mikkelson to sevens". Stuff. 14 August 2013.
  17. ^ Journalist, Talei Matairakula Multimedia Sports. "Rasaku is RWC 7s Breakthrough Player". Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  18. ^ "Sevens heaven - The best in the business". 5 March 2009.
  19. ^ "Serevi, Vunibaka still stand tall". Fijisun.com.fj. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  20. ^ "STATS CENTRE". RWC Sevens. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  21. ^ "STATS CENTRE". RWC Sevens. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  22. ^ "STATS CENTRE". RWC Sevens. Retrieved 12 September 2022.