Many of the world’s greatest rugby sevens teams will descend upon the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games this summer, when the sport’s legendary party atmosphere takes over Ibrox Stadium from 26–27 July.
The origins of this popular Commonwealth sport, can actually be traced back to the Scottish Borders – where butcher Ned Haig came up with the idea as a fundraising tournament for Melrose Rugby Club in 1883. Feeling that full rugby games would have been too much for just one afternoon, Ned suggested shortening the matches to 15 minutes, with seven players on each side. Rugby sevens was born.
Today this fast and furious sport is played on a global stage, in over 100 countries. Sevens rugby tournaments continue to be played in Melrose, attracting elite players from all over the world.
Rugby Sevens was first introduced to the Commonwealth Games programme at Kuala Lumpur 1998, with 18 teams participating. The Final attracted 20,000 fans to Petaling Jaya Stadium, where New Zealand picked up its 100th Commonwealth medal and defeated reigning world champions Fiji 21–12.
At Manchester 2002, New Zealand once again claimed Gold in a 33–15 win over Fiji, but the real shocker came when previous Bronze medallists Australia were knocked out by Samoa in the Quarter-finals. By then end of the competition, Rugby Sevens had cemented itself as one of the most popular sports in the Commonwealth Games.
Making it a hat-trick of Gold medals, New Zealand defeated England 29–21 at the Melbourne 2006 Rugby Sevens Final. The match featured world-class players including Rugby World Cup winner Cory Jane and Ben Gollings – the all-time record points-scorer.
Recovering from 10 points down, New Zealand beat Australia 24–17 at Delhi 2010 to take the fourth Commonwealth Games Gold Rugby Sevens medal before dancing a celebratory ‘Haka’. The reigning champions are certainly a force to be reckoned with at this year’s competition at the XX Commonwealth Games!
However, England, Australia and South Africa are determined to take the crown, and – with the legendary home-crowd support behind them – Scotland will be aiming to achieve Rugby Sevens medal glory back in the country where it all began.
Be a part of the action as the Rugby Sevens smashes, tackles and charges on to the scene at the XX Commonwealth Games. Buy your tickets now.
Reallocated seats will continue to be made available for public sale right up until Games Time so remember to keep checking the Ticketing website.
- Rugby sevens is a shortened version of rugby union, a sport which is said to have originated from England in the early 19th century.
- The New Zealand team are famous for their Haka, a traditional war dance which they use to celebrate a win.
- Scotland made its Rugby Sevens debut at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games, and achieved its best finish at Delhi 2010 – coming sixth place.
- Rugby Sevens is set to make its Olympic Games debut at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.