Return of the Rugby League World Sevens?

Rugby League World SevensThe popular Rugby League World Sevens Tournament could make a comeback writes Josh King from Global Rugby League.

The possible resurrection of the widely supported format could become a reality by 2010 albeit in a slightly different format. There is no doubting the value of the format to growing League nations and World Wide TV exposure of the game itself.

Last staged in 2004 in Sydney, the popular competition was stopped after NRL clubs decided not to use their star players and crowds consequently dwindled.

“We would be looking at just having nations in the World Sevens. By having an Australian team means that it will not interrupt preparations for any NRL clubs,” Rugby League Development Officer Tas Baiteri said.

According to an article in the March edition of Rugby League Review, a nines tournament could replace Sevens football if there is enough interest from competing nations.

The RL World Sevens is viewed by many involved in the sport as the catalyst for nations playing Rugby League at a higher skill level including places such as Tonga, Russia, Samoa, Cook Islands.

Sadly due to Super League the tournament went into recess before it returned in 2003, allowing reigning premiers Parramatta to score back-to-back premierships.

Wests Tigers were the last team to capture silverware in the tournament in 2004.

Past Winners:

1988: South Sydney Rabbitohs

1989: Balmain Tigers

1990: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

1991: Newcastle Knights

1992: Wigan Warriors

1993: Eastern Suburbs

1994: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

1995: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

1996: Newcastle Knights

1997: Parramatta Eels

1998-2002: Not held.

2003: Parramatta Eels

2004: Wests Tigers.

By Josh King

Global Rugby League

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