Rugby Union Stars that played 7s and XVs

Published on: 5th January 2020

Filled Under: Opinion, Uncategorized

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There’s a large rugby contingent that continues to look down their noses at Rugby Sevens. They see it as diluting the purity and complexity that is traditional Rugby Union. Fifteens is the traditional game as it was designed to be played. The set piece battles, the 10 man rucks, the full team mauls, organised back play and even the odd kick at posts. Fifteens we are told is the pinnacle of the sport and playing anything else is often a waste of time.

The problem with this is some scientific research has shown that variation and late specialisation, improves skill sets and athletic ability. The interesting part though is that 7s isn’t dramatically different from XVs. It has more freedom and a greater aerobic need but the fundamental skills for back-row forwards and backs are very similar. So, in terms of the specialisation debate this too might be a misnomer.

Not many people would argue that 7s is dramatically different enough that it would make a player worse. But it is only very slowly that we are realising, it might actually make players better.

From my point of view it helps broaden tactical ideas and enables players to be more creative. The number of minutes on the ball for outside backs and loose forwards is greatly increased due to the reduced numbers and style of the game. Time on the ball and greater reliance on an all round skill set, forces players to become skilful all rounders. You can’t hide in a predetermined box on a 7s pitch therefore walking from scrum to scrum won’t cut it. You have to be able to contribute to almost all areas of the game.

There is a contingent of rugby players, young and old, that have played sevens on the international stage and these include some of the biggest names from the last few years.

Yet, there is this continued blind spot amongst the rugby community refusing to acknowledge that this faster more free flowing version of the game might be creating better and more knowledgeable players.

Here is a brief list that we hope to add to over the years of some of the big names that have played International Rugby Union 7s and International Rugby Union Fifteens

Historical Players

There are a few others that have played both but have not been included yet. There are also a number of players that play Club 7s regularly. These include Tipuric, Daly, Dan Robson, Christian Wade and Joe Simpson.

7s is good and more should play it

Sav out.

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