By: Tim Colman
It’s been a long 10 years since Singapore last enjoyed the blistering pace of the World Rugby Sevens Series. Thankfully, the HSBC World Rugby Singapore Sevens returns to the island over the weekend of April 16 and 17 at the National Stadium. Sixteen teams will be competing in the event, including international heavyweights like New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, England and defending champs, Fiji.
Why sport your teams colours when you can go all out in fancy dress? A Star Wars character, your favourite superhero or the outfit left over from last year’s Halloween. Fancy dress has become a tradition at the Sevens events. Sure, it’s a rugby match but why not soak in the carnival atmosphere?
It’s all gone Pete Tong
The fun-filled party atmosphere of the Rugby Sevens is always an essential feature – no matter where they’re held. The party will continue on the Saturday night and you don’t even need to leave the Stadium because British dance music pioneer, Pete Tong, will hit the decks after the full-time whistle has been blown. Best known for hosting the Essential Mix on BBC Radio One, he’ll keep the stadium buzzing with house and party beats.
Music after 7
Down by the river, Clarke Quay will be hosting a three-day music festival from April 15 to 17. As the Official After Party Partner each night will see local bands like Singshot, 10.Seconds, N-A-T-1-O-N, Zyncxation featuring ARF performing. Wait, there’s more! Ticket holders can enjoy discounts and priviledges with a seamless Sevens experience that offers more than just rugby so jump on the shuttle service running from the National Stadium to enjoy riverside dining and music.
School rugby programmes
The schools initiative, Tag 7s, aims to reach 5,000 students in 30 schools teaching them basic rugby skills plus the ideas of teamwork, respect, discipline and sportsmanship. The Adopt-a-Country programme will see 16 schools adopt one of the participating teams and conduct research on them. Fans will be able to see the creative results of this study on display at the event’s mini exhibition.
Catch the ruck stars live
As well as watching the current stars of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the tournament will also give you the opportunity to catch the region’s up and coming talents of the game with the SEA 7s (men and women) and the World’s First Singapore Schools U14 Sevens Finals being played out at the National Stadium on Day-One and Day-Two respectively in front of a global audience.
Fun Zone for everyone
No matter your age, the Fun Zone at the Stadium will give you the chance to pit your skills against your mates with the Rugby Challenge Zone where you work on throwing, catching, kicking and the scrum. There’s also a skills challenge for the rugby veterans. And, parents, there will be an exclusive Kids Drop Off Zone running arts & craft sessions, a Nerf shooting gallery and a jumping bouncy castle to let the kids enjoy as well. Hopefully, the kiddos get exhausted so you can put them straight to bed!
The rugby action
While there’s plenty happening around the city, we probably shouldn’t forget the actual rugby. Rugby Sevens is played on a full size pitch but with seven players, rather than the regular 15. The halves are seven-minutes each during the pool stages, increasing to ten-minutes for the finals. The game is fast paced and action packed. New Zealand have pretty much dominated the event, winning 12 out the 15 seasons whilst last year Fiji took out the title and will be keen to repeat their success.
Gather your tribe and catch the HSBC World Rugby Singapore Sevens spectacle for yourself. Tickets are selling fast, get yours today.
Want to know more about rugby? Here’s what some former stars had to say about the gentlemen’s game.