Rugby Sevens set for Youth Olympic Games debut

  • Rugby returns to Olympics after 92 years
  • IRB launches 'I am Rugby Sevens' video
  • Six men's and six women's teams to participate
  • Rugby Canada star Heather Moyse to be IOC Athlete Role Model
  • Athletes compete in a learning environment

Rugby will make its much-anticipated Olympic stage return after a 92-year absence on August 17 when the Youth Olympic Games Rugby Sevens kicks off in Nanjing, China.

Nanjing will be the first time that Rugby Sevens has appeared on the Olympic programme and 144 players will participate across the six men’s and six women’s teams over four days (17-20).

Japan, France, Argentina, Kenya, Fiji and USA comprise the men’s competition, with Canada, China, Spain, Australia, Tunisia and USA competing for honours in the women’s event.

With its winning blend of high-octane, highly competitive action and carnival atmosphere, excitement has been building within the global Rugby family ahead of the events.

International Rugby Board Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "This is an exciting and historic moment for our sport and also for the boys and girls who will represent Rugby in our return to the Olympic stage."

"The experiences that our young players will learn in Nanjing will stretch way beyond the field of play. They will help to shape the character of the men and women that these players will become."

"They will learn to compete in a spirit of fair play, to respect their opponents and appreciate the importance of playing on an even playing field - values that characterise Rugby."

"I am sure that the Rugby Sevens events will be a hit with players and fans around the world and in Nanjing where more than 3,000 children have been introduced to the sport via our Get Into Rugby mass-participation programme. I am looking forward to attending what promises to be an exceptional Nanjing Youth Olympic Games."



There are now an unprecedented 6.6 million men, women and children now playing the sport across all continents and Olympic inclusion has played a massive role in the success story.

With Rio 2016 less than two years away, Nanjing will generate further engagement among the world’s youth as in stadia and in conversation the sport continues to reach out, engage and inspire young people to participate and have fun.