This past weekend, the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series wrapped up with the London 7s tournament at Twickenham Stadium in West London. As expected from the home of rugby, the final leg of the 10 tournament Rugby Sevens Series was a raucous atmosphere of 35,000 each day.
The Feast of Rugby theme brought an array of 40 plus food trucks and stalls to the West Fan Village, overseen by the renowned Chef Neil Rankin. Of course there was a selection of beer trucks and bars selling real ale, ciders, and hi-balls. As you can imagine a great number of drinks are sold each day, to cut down on waste, Twickenham and Guinness created a reusable collectors cup. For each drink a refundable £1 was added to the first drink, fans could either keep the cup as a souvenir or return them at the end of the day to get their £1 back. Quite a few entrepreneurial young fans were seen collecting tall stacks of cups from around the stadium to return for their pocket money. In spite of there being a more than a few drinks being had, the London 7s maintained a good families atmosphere. A bouncy castle, play areas and plenty of children kicking and throwing rugby balls around the site made it an event for all ages.
On the field, exciting play kept the fans on the edge of their seats as the 14 teams battled it out for not only the tournament’s standings but to secure their placings in the overall series. South Africa had already secured the series title but the remaining teams were vying for their rank and, for those teams who hadn’t already, for qualification in the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco. After 45 matches Scotland beat England in the final, with Canada securing third place, and world cup qualification, over the USA. The USA’s Perry Baker came away the tournament’s top scorer with eight tries over the weekend. Team Canada’s 8th place rank in the series is the team’s highest placement since 2013.
This result plus Canada’s win at the Singapore 7s sets up Canada for an exciting coming season.