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Rugby Sevens: Olympic debutante and research catalyst
  1. Ross Tucker1,2
  1. 1 Department of Medicine, University of the Free State School of Medicine, Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa
  2. 2 World Rugby (Pty) Ltd, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ross Tucker, World Rugby Limited, World Rugby House, 8-10 Pembroke Street Lower, Dublin 2, Ireland; ross.tucker{at}

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Rugby Sevens will make its debut appearance at the Rio Olympic Games. Sevens is a variation of 15-a-side Rugby Union, and is played by teams of seven players over seven-minute halves. International competitions, including the Olympic Games, are typically played in a tournament format, which involve multiple matches per day over 2 or 3 days.

Exposure of Sevens to a global audience in the Olympic Games will stimulate interest in the sport, particularly among women and in nations where Rugby Union is not yet an established sport.

Research in sevens

To date, research focus on Sevens has been on the elite level of the sport. Investigators have identified key determinants of performance,1 the match demands of Sevens,2 the effects of fatigue on performance and recovery,3 ,4 and strategies to optimise playing performance, preparation and recovery between matches.5 ,6

There is also a research focus on injury epidemiology and prevention. This has been largely directed towards the elite game, due …

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  • Competing interests RT is contracted by World Rugby (Pty) Ltd to conduct and support scientific research on Rugby Union, including the sport of Rugby Sevens.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.