The sevens version of the sport features fast-paced flowing excitement! Let’s check out the history of the Rugby World Cup Sevens!
In 1973, the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) celebrated its one-hundred-year anniversary with the first international seven-a-side tournament, the SRU Centenary Sevens. England triumphed by beating an Irish team in the final at Murrayfield. En route to the final, England overcame strong opposition from Wales, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, France, and invitational team the Barbarians.
The sevens version of the men’s Rugby World Cup (RWC) began in 1993, which was six years after the first XVs tournament. Fittingly, it was played in Scotland, the birthplace of sevens, and again England won the competition. Therefore, they became the first team to lift the Melrose Cup, when they beat Australia 21-17 in the final.
The second RWC Sevens took place in Hong Kong in 1997. It was won by Fiji, who defeated South Africa 24 points to 21. Interestingly, Fiji are a very successful nation in sevens, but not in the XVs version of the sport. Rugby is a huge part of the culture in the Pacific islands, and Fiji in particular have a flair for the open-flowing rugby that characterises the shortened version of the game!
The third edition of the RWC Sevens was hosted by Argentina in 2001 and all the matches happened in the city of Mar del Plata. New Zealand easily defeated their antipodean neighbours, Australia, in the final by 31 points to 12, to bag the legendary New Zealand ‘All Blacks’ their first Rugby World Cup Sevens trophy!
Check back next week, as our series on Rugby continues chronicling the history of RWC Sevens!