Sport

Rugby sevens: From local fundraiser to Olympic sport

Published 1823 GMT (0223 HKT) January 22, 2016
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Rugby sevens will make its Olympic debut this year in Rio de Janeiro. CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images
Ned Haig, a butcher from Melrose, Scotland, invented the sport in 1883. Courtesy of Melrose RFC
The first sevens tournament was held at the Greenyards ground (pictured) in Melrose that same year.
Sevens is a scaled down version of the traditional 15-a-side rugby union code. Matches last 14 minutes and each team is made up of seven players. GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Today, sevens is played all over the world -- including Hong Kong, which hosts a popular stage on the Sevens World Series tour each year.
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The first Rugby Sevens World Cup was held in Edinburgh in 1993, with England claiming victory. Mike Hewitt/Allsport/file
New Zealand captain Karl Te Nana (right) celebrates with Jonah Lomu after winning the final of the 2001 Rugby Sevens World Cup at Mar del Plata, Argentina. Lomu played in the final of the 15-a-side World Cup in 1995. David Rogers/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
In August, Rio will welcome rugby to the Olympics for the first time since 1924, when the U.S. 15-a-side team retained its gold medal in Paris. CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images
The sport has attracted a cult following in recent years, with many fans attending matches in fancy dress. Ross LandGetty Images/File