World Rugby Sevens Series kicks off in Vancouver
The GIST: Today marks the start of the women’s and men’s World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments in Vancouver, BC, where teams will continue their quest to nab one of four respective automatically qualifying spots for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
- With five men’s and three women’s tourneys to go, this party’s just heating up. We’ll try to explain it all.
How it works: Starting with the sport itself, rugby sevens is different from standard 15-player-per-side rugby in that, you guessed it, teams are made up of seven players. That said, they still play on the same size field despite the smaller roster. Exhausted just thinking about it.
- Halves are much shorter, though, clocking in at seven minutes as opposed to the typical 40, often resulting in faster-paced action, among other differences.
The series: The 2022–23 rugby sevens slate kicked off last fall and will run through May, featuring 11 tourneys for the men and seven for the women. *eye roll* Teams earn points based on how they place at each tournament, and the squad with the highest accumulated score at the end hoists the trophy.
- New Zealand is a perennial powerhouse in both the women’s and men’s game, and has been similarly dominant this time around, currently sitting at the top of both standings. Sweet as.
Team Canada: On the flip side, the red and white women are hovering near the bottom of the standings, after failing to reach the podium in the first four tourneys. Despite the struggles, co-captains Olivia Apps and Breanne Nicholas are confident the team can feed off the hometown crowd this weekend.
- The Canadian men might need some extra cheers, though. They’re currently in 14th place, putting them in danger of being relegated, aka eliminated from contention for next year’s event. No maul Mr. Nice guys.