Amsterdam Rugby 7s

When in Amsterdam...once a year International Rugby 7s is played. Since 1972 Amsterdam has had a 7s tournament. Amature, proffessional, men, women and children converge on Amsterdam to play the shortened version of rugby over two days.

This year, thanks to IAmsterdam we sent one of our guides and former rugby player to the 7s tournament. They were asked to check out and report back on the famous Amsterdam Rugby 7s tournament from a perspective of someone that knows nothing about Rugby. Here is what they had to say.


Amsterdam is a city of bicycles and canals so a friend and I meet at Central Station and rode our bikes west in search of Rugby fields that we never knew exisited. Amsterdam had put on great weather. The sun was shinning and the temperature hot for Amsterdam. The trip should have taken around 20 minutes but this is Amsterdam. There is always something going on. We briefly stopped twice. Once at a food festival of vehicles that were converted into kitchens and second at an outdoor music party with tunes that were hard to ignore from the bike path. After asking a few locals for directions we finally arrived at what one Amsterdammer described as 'a big happening over there'.

Wales v England Amsterdam 7s 2012

Rugby 7s is a shortened version of the traditional form of Rugby. Instead of 15 players per side there are 7. Instead of two halves of 40 minutes there are two halves of 7 minutes. Two teams of 7 play for two halves of 7 minutes. This is why the game is called 7s rugby. The tournament format and shortness of the game creates a carnival atmosphere.

For people who don't know anything about rugby 7s is perfect. Games are short and exciting. There are many teams so supporting one team is hard. The game is quick and fast passed as there is only 14 players on the field so there is normally more points scored in the 7s format.

We arrived to see the England play Wales on the main field. The standard was high and technically specific. It should not be surprising to see women play rugby to a high standard. Women rugby has come a long over the last decade and it was great to watch. The only problem was Wales lost.

It was then off to the back fields. As a former player the back fields of a 7s tournament are a great place to see people who love rugby. The other good thing about the back fields is you get to see two fields, therefore two games a once. Twice the excitement.

Back field action at Amsterdam rugby 7s


All of a sudden one of the players suffered an injury on the back field. Rugby is a physical sport and injuries happen every now and then. The player from Argentina had sprained his ankle. In no time the tournament organisers were on the spot with the electric car to transport the player to the first aid tent.

Amsterdam 7s organizers quick to respond to injured player on back field.

Amsterdam 7s organisers must be applauded for their quick response. Player welfare is the most important aspect of rugby. Even though the player pictured was playing in the furthermost back field the organizers responded promptly. Each field had a Marshall. Once the injury occurred the Field Marshall radioed to first aid and within minutes help was at hand.

Player welfare central at Amsterdam rugby 7s


After a lot of rugby and even more sun it was time to move back to the main stadium. The atmosphere was electric with people drunk with sunshine and rugby. The elite women were playing. On came the national Dutch team. The crowd went wild. They put on a great performance and won the game we watched.

Dutch Women Rugby 7s team
 Rugby is an international game and although the rugby is center stage there was plenty to do including mixing with people from all over the world. We talked with people from Argentina, England, South Africa, Australia, and Fiji.

Amsterdam rugby 7s an international affair


Fijians are famous for their rugby. In this small south Pacific Island country rugby is a national passion. Fiji has a population of some 850 000 people but they gravitate towards rugby even on the other side of the world. There was a whole gang from Tailevu in Fiji. Bula!

Bula vinaka! A gang of Fijians at the Amsterdam rugby 7s
For people who don't know anything about rugby, 7s is a great introduction. You don't have to know the rules of the game as you will be swept up in the game. It is exciting, quick, has carnival atmosphere and friendly people from all over the world. For some the excitement was too much.

End of a long day at Amsterdam rugby 7s

The organizers run a professional world class 7s tournament. As we rode home on our bicycles we knew we had experienced an exceptional day. Thank you IAmsterdam for the tickets and thank you Amsterdam for the wonderful weather. Next year be sure to check out the Amsterdam Rugby 7s.


When in Amsterdam...enjoy!


For our regular readers and transparency we were provided free tickets to the Amsterdam Rugby 7s. This did not impact the opinions written.

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged