Teams from across Middlesex will get the opportunity this summer to take part in a ground-breaking nationwide Sevens competition and battle it out to win a place in July’s National finals day at Bath Rugby’s Recreation Ground.
More than 6,000 sevens players are expected to participate again in England Rugby’s 24/Sevens competition, with 38 local qualifiers kicking off throughout May and June.
The Middlesex competition will take place on April 30 at Richmond’s Athletic Ground in south west London, with men and women’s sevens teams and community clubs able to enter the ‘Open’ tier, while a ‘Social’ tier will also exist to ensure all-comers are welcome at the event.
Sevens rugby is a key part of England Rugby’s work with Sport England, broadening high quality playing opportunities for all players.
The competition will culminate in a showpiece national final event hosted by England Rugby at The Recreation Ground in Bath on July 29.
RFU Development Director Steve Grainger said: “Over 6000 players took part in the inaugural 24/Sevens competition in 2016.
“This year we are broadening the competition’s reach and capacity to cater for an even wider range of playing levels with the new tiered competition structure.
“Sevens is an exciting format of rugby that can be played not only by sevens specific players but also by anyone that does or has played fifteen-a-side rugby and players who are new to contact rugby.
“We are looking forward to seeing player talent on display this year as teams compete for the highest national accolade at community level in Rugby Sevens in England.”
The exciting community sevens-series was launched in 2016 and aims to continue to grow sevens rugby and increase participation among men and women in England.
In 2017 the 24/Sevens competition will be bigger and better than ever before, with more local qualifiers being held in 38 locations across England.
24/Sevens 2017 will also see the addition of a new tiered competition structure with ‘Social’ and ‘Invitational elite’ tiers being added alongside the existing ‘Open’ competition.
“Following the success of the Olympics there has never been a more exciting time for rugby sevens,” said England Sevens Head Coach Simon Amor.
“There are undoubtedly more players playing the sport around the world and the growth of 24/Sevens is fantastic for sevens in our country.
“The linkup with the Super Sevens Series is also a positive step forward creating a clear elite level for players to compete in and providing a great opportunity to develop young sevens talent.”
The local qualifier events take place throughout April, May and June, with regional play-offs in the North, Midlands, South East and South West in July, before the 24/Sevens national final in July.
England Sevens women’s assistant coach James Bailey said: “The 24/Sevens competition is important for the development of the women’s sevens pathway as it’s giving players at community level more quality and consistent playing opportunities.
“This is making sevens a real option for aspiring players.
The Olympics last year was a great showcase for the sport and inspired so many to get involved. 24/Sevens is a great entry point to the game.”
England Rugby 24/Sevens, an exciting grassroots sevens competition for all rugby teams, welcoming anyone who just wants to pick up a ball and run, for fun or glory.
Visit www.englandrugby.com/24sevens to get involved.