Rugby Sevens is now an Olympic sport which will be played at the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games in Rio and Tokyo. ‘Sevens’ is played increasingly at the grass roots level, but at the elite end of the game are the (men’s) HSBC Sevens World Series and (women’s) World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series for national teams, both of which are staged in multiple countries around the world, like a grand prix format. Both are also direct qualifying tournaments for the 2016 Olympic Games, with the top four-ranked nations in 2014/15 booking their place in Rio.
Because Sevens is played on a full-sized rugby pitch but with less than half the normal number of players (seven against seven, instead of 15 against 15), there is a large amount of space to run in. This makes it a very fast and exciting variation of the game demanding huge levels of fitness.