The elite game of rugby is recognized as one of the fastest-growing sports in the USA. World Rugby Sevens Series is set to conclude in one of Africa’s most visited cities, Cape Town in South Africa. It is a fast-paced and action-packed sport. Rugby Sevens is a shortened version of the traditional Rugby Union fifteen-a-side game. The game has huge followership in the USA. Also, the USA currently ranks as one of the main contenders in the sport.
Rugby Sevens in Africa
Since the global tournament was inaugurated by World Rugby to expand the game across the continent. South Africa has remained the core of the game on African soil. Thus, following the implementation of the World Rugby Sevens Series league, iconic venues such as Steelenbosch, Durban, George, and Port Elizabeth have hosted this event. In 2015, South Africa decided to maximize the success. Consequently, Cape Town was picked as the venue for the prestigious event on the African continent.
Rules of Rugby Sevens
Unlike the traditional fifteen per side rugby matches, Sevens rugby differs as it offers a more exciting and competitive angle to the game. The major rules are, two halves are played with seven minutes per half. A team scores five points for scoring a try with an additional two points for a successful drop goal conversion. The length of the field is one hundred meters long and seventy meters wide.
History of the Sport
Rugby Sevens dates back to 1883 when a rugby club in Scotland decided to fundraise for their local club. Little did they know, the shortened format of Rugby Union would become one of the most popular sports globally. For the USA, Rugby Sevens dates back to thirty-five years when the first USA team competed. The USA Rugby Sevens side struggled in the beginning. However, they are now one of the most improved rugby teams with many trophies in their cabinet.
Cape Town South Africa Rugby Sevens Culture
The prestigious World Rugby Sevens Series is played on each continent at top rugby countries such as Paris, Dubai, and Las Vegas. The African continent will conclude the 2021 season in Cape Town from 10-12 December. Cape Town City Stadium draws a capacity crowd of 55,000 per day during such events. Additionally, Cape Town has plenty of tourist activities, which makes the destination the perfect event to wrap up a long season.
Rugby Sevens Star Players
#1. Carlin Isles – Age 31 Ashland University, Ohio
Inspiring Rugby Sevens athlete, Carlin Isles comes from a humble background, from growing in foster care to getting recognized for being the fastest player in the game. After an unsuccessful football career, Carlin Isles took up rugby in 2012 and has not looked back. The elite athlete has recorded a 10.13 seconds time in the 100 meters sprint, which makes him known for being the world’s fastest rugby player. Isles’ electric speed has assisted him in scoring over two hundred career tries, which makes him one of the most valuable players on the field.
#2. Siviwe Soyizwapi – Age 28 Dale College, King Williams Town
The natural fast-paced runner has always played with a great heart on the rugby field. Having joined The South African team in 2016, his heroic leadership and standout performances saw Soyizwapi named captain of the team. With the Olympic Games in Tokyo taking place in July 2021, Siviwe will be looking to bring South African its first gold medal at the biggest sports event in the world.
#3. Perry Baker – Age 34 Fairmont State University, West Virginia
World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Award in 2018, Perry Baker always entertains the crowd when he is on the field. Much like teammate Carlin Isles, Baker also preferred American football in his youth. The switch to rugby was inevitable. Consequently, he represented the USA at the Olympic Games in 2016 and is the USA’s all-time leading try scorer. With the ability to beat defenders one-on-one and his world-class finishing abilities, Perry Baker is one of the greatest Rugby Seven players to date!
#4. Werner Kok – Age 28 Hoërskool Nelspruit, Nelspruit
The fierce strong running South African rugby star always poses a huge threat by his physicality on the field. Kok has had a lucrative career to date, seeing him becoming the 2015 World Rugby Sevens player of the year. Also, he was a bronze winner at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Werner Kok continues to amaze the rugby world with his hard work. Thus, he is undoubtedly a player to watch this rugby season.
#5. Madison Hughes – Age 28 Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
Born in England, Madison Hughes comes from a rich rugby background, starting at seven years old. Hughes plays a huge role in the team as the USA Rugby Sevens captain, starting at the young age of 21. His leadership qualities have led to amazing victories for the side. When Madison Hughes earned the captaincy accolade in 2014, he was the youngest player in the entire USA team.
#6. Rosko Specman – Age 32 Mary Walters High School, Grahamstown
The little legend Rosko Specman never fails to deliver emphatic dashes on when he has the ball. Specman’s elusive running makes him a major threat to his opposition on the field. Rosko Specman played a major role for South Africa when they won bronze at the Olympic Games in 2016. He will always be a superstar on the rugby field.
The World Rugby Sevens organizers have scheduled this season to start later in the year. Interestingly, the game will also feature in the upcoming Tokyo 2021 Olympic games. The upcoming season due in September will feature Vancouver, Canada. Tune in for some fast-paced and action-packed rugby experience. The USA will look to become Rugby Sevens Olympic Champions. However, they should expect stiff competition from the perceived underdogs.