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Updated: 18/05/2006

Rugby Union Sevens

The first Sevens Tournament was played in Melrose, Scotland, on the 28th April 1883. It was proposed by the local Butchers Apprentice as a way to raise money as the staging of a full (then) 20 a side tournament was impractical. The tournament is still played today.

The first series outside Scotland was played in Argentina but now is played all over the world. The IRB in 2000 sanctioned an international series with and tournaments are played on all continents. New Zealand has dominated the series.

Probably the most famous sevens tournament is the Hong Kong Sevens. It was first played in 1976. Initially it was played by club sides but quickly moved to international sides. New Zealand teams have dominated the tournament.

On the 25th February 2004 New Zealand and Hong Kong issued a set of stamps to commemorate the tournament. The joint cover issued by NZ is shown below.

2004 Joint Hong Kong Sevens Cover

Four Stamps and a Miniature Sheet were also issued and are shown on covers. They were also available as a Presentation pack. Hong Kong issued a joint FD cover, a single FD cover  for its stamps alone, a joint presentation pack  and single presentation pack as well as a 16 stamp sheetlet. It also issued 4 post cards showing the Hong Kong Stadium, Wellington Stadium, NZ players and other sevens players. NZ Post also released a Miniature Sheet and Cover with one of the Sevens Stamps and two of the 100th Anniv. of Test Rugby Stamps for the Le Salon du Timbres 2004 exhibition in Paris.

Sevens Rugby was also introduced for the first time to the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games and was retained in Manchester. New Zealand won Gold in both Games.

Football shaped stamps issued by Tonga on July 27 2002 to commemorate the Rugby Sevens at the Commonwealth Games, Manchester.