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|Sport||Rugby union sevens|
|Instituted||1993 (men), 2009 (women)|
|Number of teams||24 (men), 16 (women)|
The Rugby World Cup Sevens is the premier stand-alone international rugby sevens competition outside the Olympic Games. The event is contested every four years, with tournaments for men's and women's national teams co-hosted at the same venues. It is organised by World Rugby, the sport's governing body.
Rugby sevens, and originally known as seven-a-side rugby, is a variant of rugby union in which teams are made up of seven players playing seven minute halves, instead of the usual 15 players playing 40 minute halves. Rugby sevens is administered by World Rugby, the body responsible for rugby union worldwide. The game is popular at all levels, with amateur and club tournaments generally held in the summer months. Sevens is one of the most well distributed forms of rugby, and is popular in parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and especially in the South Pacific.
Rugby sevens at the Summer Olympics was played for the first time at the 2016 Summer Olympics with both men's and women's contests. Rugby sevens was added to the Olympics following the decision of the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen in October 2009. The champions for the inaugural rugby sevens tournament in 2016 were Fiji for the men and Australia for the women.
World Rugby is the world governing body for the sport of rugby union. World Rugby organises the Rugby World Cup every four years, the sport's most recognised and most profitable competition. It also organises a number of other international rugby competitions, such as the World Rugby Sevens Series, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, the World Under 20 Championship, and the Pacific Nations Cup.
The first tournament was held in 1993 in Scotland, the birthplace of rugby sevens. 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.The women's tournament was inaugurated at the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens held in Dubai.
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain, with a border with England to the southeast, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
The Melrose Cup is the main prize of the Rugby World Cup Sevens. The trophy is named after the town of Melrose, Scotland, the birthplace of rugby sevens where in 1883 local butcher boy Ned Haig with help of his boss David Sanderson invited local rugby union teams to play a small tournament as a fundraiser event for the Melrose Rugby Club that had financial issues. The trophy has been presented to the winner of the world cup since the inaugural tournament in 1993. The only teams to have held the trophy are England, Wales, Fiji and current cup holders New Zealand. Winner of the first tournament was England.
Dubai is the largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). On the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, it is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the country.
In men's Rugby World Cup Sevens, the New Zealand have won the tournament three times, Fiji have won it twice, and England and Wales have won a single tournament each, while Argentina, Australia and South Africa have reached tournament finals but not secured a title.
The New Zealand national rugby sevens team competes in the World Rugby Sevens Series, Rugby World Cup Sevens, Summer Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games. The team has been officially known as the All Blacks Sevens since 1 June 2012.
The Fiji national rugby sevens team is one of the most successful rugby sevens teams in the world. Fiji has won the Hong Kong Sevens a record eighteen times since the tournament's inception in 1976. Fiji has also won the Rugby World Cup Sevens twice — in 1997 and 2005. Fiji also won the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, the country's first Olympic medal in any event.
The England national rugby sevens team competes in the World Rugby Sevens Series, Rugby World Cup Sevens and the Commonwealth Games. England's best finish in the Sevens Series is second place, which they have achieved four times, most recently in the 2016-17 season. They have once won the Rugby World Cup Sevens — the inaugural tournament in 1993.
For women's Rugby World Cup Sevens, Australia won the first tournament in 2009 and New Zealand won the second and third tournaments in 2013 and 2018. New Zealand are the current men's and women's world champions having won both tournaments in 2018.
In May of 2009, the International Rugby Board (now World Rugby) stated that if Olympic rugby sevens were added to the Rio de Janeiro games, their intention was to end the World Cup Sevens.In 2013, following two weeks of consultation, the board announced that the competition would be retained and integrated into the Olympic calendar, meaning that a meaningful elite level competition would take place every two years from 2016. In common with other Olympic team sports, the World Cup hosts a larger number of teams than the Olympic tournament. The first competition after Olympic integration took place in 2018, which entailed a one-off five-year gap from the 2013 competition.
The 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens was the seventh edition of the Rugby World Cup Sevens. Organised by World Rugby, it was held at AT&T Park, now known as Oracle Park, in San Francisco, United States. A total of 84 matches were played over three days from July 20–22, 2018 with both tournaments being played for the first time in a knock-out only format. New Zealand won the championship for both events — defeating England in the men's final and France in the women's final.
The 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament for both men and women's teams was held from Friday 20 July 2018 to Sunday 22 July 2018 in AT&T Park, San Francisco in the United States. Unlike previous Rugby World Cup Sevens tournaments and the annual World Rugby Sevens Series events, in each of the genders, both competitions were played in knock-out only formats.
San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, and the fourth-most populous in California, with 884,363 residents as of 2017. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is also part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 18 megadiverse countries.
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. 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.
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.The adoption of rugby sevens and golf was recommended to the full International Olympic Committee council by its executive board in August 2009. The International Olympic Committee voted in 2009 for rugby sevens to become a medal sport at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
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.The IRB intended that the exposure to rugby from hosting the World Cup Sevens would accelerate the growth of rugby in Russia.
The IRB had said the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens – featuring 24 men's teams and 16 women's teams – would be the last one. However, following feedback from its member unions, the IRB's general assembly voted for the tournament to continue. The principal concern is that Sevens at the Olympics would accommodate only 12 teams.
The IRB announced on June 12, 2013 that the Rugby World Cup Sevens would continue after 2013, with the next tournament set for 2018, and for every four years after that.Following the IRB's announcement, several nations officially announced their intention to bid to host the 2018 tournament – including the United States and Wales. On May 13, 2015 it was decided that the United States would host the 2018 edition of the tournament with the two venues being announced when they won the bid.
British Hong Kong
Mar del Plata, Argentina
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
San Francisco, United States
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.
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.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.
United Arab Emirates
San Francisco, United States
The World Rugby Sevens Series is an annual series of international rugby sevens tournaments run by World Rugby featuring national sevens teams. The series, organised for the first time in the 1999–2000 season, was formed to develop an elite-level competition series between rugby nations and develop the sevens game into a viable commercial product for World Rugby. The competition was originally known as the IRB World Sevens Series, but has been known officially as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series since 2014 due to sponsorship from banking group HSBC.
The Hong Kong Sevens is considered the premier tournament on the World Rugby Sevens Series competition. The Hong Kong Sevens is currently the seventh tournament on the World Series calendar, and is held annually in Hong Kong on a weekend in late March or early April. The tournament spans three days, beginning on a Friday and concluding on Sunday. The tournament is organised each year by the Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU).
Waisale Tikoisolomoni Serevi is a former Fijian rugby union footballer, coach, and is a member of the World Rugby Hall of Fame. Serevi is renowned for his achievements in rugby sevens, while also enjoying a long career in fifteen-a-side rugby at both club and national team levels. Nicknamed "The Wizard" by commentators, he is widely considered to be the greatest rugby sevens player in the history of the game. A biography of Serevi titled "Waisale Serevi: King of Sevens" by Nick Darvenzi was published in 2018.
The 2005–06 World Sevens Series was the seventh in an annual IRB Sevens World Series of rugby sevens tournaments run by the International Rugby Board since 1999-2000. The participating teams in each World Sevens Series are full national sides.
The 2009 Rugby Sevens World Cup was the fifth edition of the Rugby World Cup Sevens. The International Rugby Board (IRB) selected Dubai in the United Arab Emirates as the host venue for the tournament ahead of bids from four other countries. The format included nine direct qualifiers and a further fifteen qualifiers from all six regions defined by the IRB. A women's version of the world cup was also held alongside the men's tournament for the first time and featured sixteen teams. The men's cup was won by Wales, with the women's cup going to Australia.
The 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens or the Melrose Cup was the fourth edition of the Rugby World Cup Sevens. The tournament was held in Hong Kong at Hong Kong Stadium. Fiji defeated New Zealand in the final to take the Melrose Cup for the second time, becoming the first team to win the competition twice.
The 2001 Rugby World Cup Sevens or the Melrose Cup was the third edition of the Rugby World Cup Sevens and was held in Argentina. New Zealand defeated Australia to win the tournament for the first time. This was the first major rugby event ever held in South America.
The 1993 Rugby World Cup Sevens was held at Murrayfield in Edinburgh, Scotland, in April 1993. This tournament was the inaugural Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament. The International Rugby Board invited the established rugby union nations but also were keen to involve emerging nations in the event, recognising the fact that Sevens was providing the bridge between the developed rugby nations and those whose rugby union traditions were less well established.
Rugby union in Fiji is a popular team sport and is considered to be the national sport of the country. The sport was introduced to Fiji in the 1880s. Fiji is defined as a tier two rugby nation by World Rugby. The national team has competed at the Rugby World Cup and made it as far as the quarter finals. Their sevens team is also noted for their success, and have won the Rugby World Cup Sevens twice and the World Rugby Sevens Series three times.
The 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens was the sixth edition of the Rugby World Cup Sevens. The tournament was held at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia. New Zealand won the tournament, defeating England 33–0 in the final. Attendance for the tournament was poor, with matches played in mostly empty stadiums.
Iliesa Samusamuvodre Tanivula is a former New Zealand sevens player and the current coach of the Fiji sevens team. Tanivula could play most positions in the backline. He mainly played at centre, wing or fullback.
The Oceania Women's Sevens is the regional championship for women's international rugby sevens in Oceania. The tournament is held over two days, typically on a weekend. It is sanctioned and sponsored by Oceania Rugby, which is the rugby union governing body for the region.
The 2011 Hong Kong Sevens was a seven-a-side rugby union tournament, part of the 2010–11 IRB Sevens World Series. The competition was being held from 25–27 March in at Hong Kong Stadium in Hong Kong and featured 24 teams.
The New Zealand women's national rugby sevens team is the reigning women's Rugby World Cup Sevens champions, having won the most recent edition in 2018, and also have been a "core team" that participates in all rounds of the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series since that competition's inception in 2012–13.
The men's tournament in the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens was held at The Sevens in Dubai alongside the inaugural women's tournament. The tournament was held from 5 March to 7 March, with Wales beating Argentina 19−12 at the final.