With just under two weeks to go until the Rugby Tens Championship comes to South Africa, we have looked at what exactly rugby tens are.
A variant of rugby union, the game was developed in Asia in the late 1960s and has since become a regular feature at rugby tournaments in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Manila, and Stockholm.
It is now a professional sport thanks to the Rugby Tens Championship, with international franchises promoting equality for men and women players, and offering Academy athletes the opportunity to contribute to their team’s efforts in the Championship competition.
An exciting format of the game that will only continue to develop in the years to come. But for some people who might be new to the world of rugby 10s, here are 10 simple rules:
Rule 1: Each team has 10 players, five forwards and five backs
Rule 2: Forwards may include: 2 props, 1 hooker and 2 locks
Rule 3: Backs may include: 1 scrum-half, 1 fly-half, 1 center, 1 wing, and 1 fullback
Rule 4: Matches are 20 minutes (10 minutes each half)
Rule 5: Five rolling subs on the bench.
Rule 6: Conversion attempts are drop kicks and must be taken within 40 seconds
Rule 7: The team that scores takes the kick-off
Rule 8: There are no loose forwards in the scrum
Rule 9: A yellow card suspension lasts two minutes
Rule 10: If a match is drawn after 20 minutes, it goes to 5-min sudden death followed by drop kicking knock-out competition
“I’m excited to see what we’re able to create with the Tens (10s) rules. The beauty of Tens (10s) is that we don’t have to go massive to be dominant. The game allows for more space and utilizing a versatile back line will provide opportunities for players to explore their points of difference in key matchups. Knowing we have 5 rolling subs able to come in and inject energy, power & pace into the game is a massive benefit in the game of 10s” noted Lisa Jackson, the San Clemente Rhinos Assistant Coach and the USA Kathy Flores Award 2022 recipient.
The Rugby Tens Championship is going to be played in Pretoria [October 7-8] at Harlequin Rugby Club and Loftus Versfeld respectively, and in Stellenbosch [October 14-15] at Danie Craven Stadium, with five professional franchises fielding men’s, women’s, boys, and girls teams each weekend of action.
Not only competing to win the individual legs of competition in the two South African cities, but teams’ efforts will also be contributing to the Championship competition. Gaining points from their positioning in the two stages, whoever ends Stellenbosch with the most points will find themselves the Championship winners. This adds another dimension to the competition, with everything on the line until the very final whistle.
Blending the two formats, as 10s combines the physicality of 15s with the skill and dynamic play of Sevens, there are plenty who see value in the newly professional format of the game.
Having had its first outing in Portugal last November, the inaugural edition of the Rugby Tens Championship attracted star names from across the world of rugby. This included a variety of names who made their names famous globally in both the seven-a-side and 15-a-side game.
Coaching the San Clemente Rhinos for a second year is former Blitzbok captain, Frankie Horne. Amongst other things, Horne was a 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medalist and likes a lot of what 10s has to offer for the players on the field and the coaches on the touchline.
“The beauty of 10s is that you have multiple options from playing a sevens style, based on players you pick or leaning more to a 15s style where you stick to more traditional roles,” Horne said.
“You can utilize half-backs as hookers for lineouts to have more forwards in the back, play two wings instead of a full-back and let your nine sweep like in sevens.
“You can be very versatile with selections and styles of play, which makes this game great.”
Also coaching in Pretoria and Stellenbosch will be Horne’s long-time teammate, Cecil Afrika. Recently having represented his country at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town, the rugby sevens legend will be an assistant coach with the Cape Town Wild Dogs Women’s team.
Legend of both sevens and 15s, Heather Fisher will be on the touchline as an assistant coach with the Balkans Honey Badgers.
Among the playing group, 22 nations will be represented across all the teams. This includes a strong representation of players from traditional tier one and two countries, who often don’t get the opportunity to showcase their skill as a professional level.
Media release issued by Terras Communications on behalf of Rugby Tens Championship
About Rugby Tens Championship
The Rugby Tens Championship is a professional rugby 10s competition which offers opportunities to athletes across the world. The Championships, which host events across the world, has five franchises, each having a men’s, women’s, boys’ and girls’ teams.
Australia National Teams and Professional Clubs: Natalie Wright (Queensland Reds), Kaitlin Shave (Brisbane Broncos), Georgia Hannaway (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Nathan den Hoedt (LA Giltinis, MLR), Sama Malolo
Austria National Team: Elena-Riccarda Hennig
Canada National Team: Oliver Nott (Toronto Arrows, MLR), Kainoa Lloyd (San Diego Legion, MLR), Brock Gallagher (Loggerheads, PR Sevens), Josh Larsen (New England Free Jacks, MLR)
England National Teams and Professional Clubs: Ellen Ramsbottom (Loughborough Lightning, Allianz premier 15s)
Fiji National Teams: Adi Vani Buleki (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Reapi Ulunisau (2020 Olympics), Viniana Riwai (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Rusila Nagasau (2016 & 2020 Olympics)
France National Teams and Professional Clubs: Luca Mignot (University of Bath, BUCS Super Rugby), Marie Saluzzo (Stade Francais), Kelegh Moutome( HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Romeo Ponge Prince (Berre)
Ireland National Teams and Professional Clubs: Anne Caplice (2017 RWC), David Busby (Seattle Seawolves, MLR), Patrick O’Toole (NOLA Gold, MLR), John Poland (New England Free Jacks, MLR)
Jamaica National Teams: Jack Rampton (2022 RWC7s), Matthew Coore
Japan National Teams and Professional Clubs: Chiharu Nakamura (2016 & 2020 Olympic Games, 2018 & 2022 RWC7s)
Kenya National Teams: Andrew Amonde (2013 & 2018 RWC7s) Oscar Ouma (2013 RWC7s), Grace Adhiambo (2020 Olympics), Stellah Wafula (2020 Olympics), Judith Okumu (2020 Olympics), Janet Okelo (2016 & 2020 Olympics), Jeff Mukutu
Mexico National Team: Isabel Gonzalez Burgos (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series)
Namibia National Team: Wynand Breytenbach
Netherlands National Teams and Professional Clubs: Pleuni Kievit (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Jordan Heil (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Timon Vijn (Loggerheads, Premier Rugby Sevens)
New Zealand National Teams and Professional Clubs: Rebekah Cordero Tufuga (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Angus Fletcher, Shakira Baker (2014 RWC, 2018 RWC7s, 2016 Olympics), Marcelle Parkes, Rhiarna Ferris, Harmony Ioane, Grace Steinmetz
Poland National Team: Anna Klichowska (2022 RWC7s), Natalia Pamieta (2022 RWC7s)
South Africa National Teams: Branco du Preez (2013 RWC7s), Marithy Pienaar (2018 RWC7s), Lorinda Brown(HSBC World Cup Sevens Series), Mathrin Simmers (2022 RWC7s), Nomsa Mokwai (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Felicia Jacobs (2022 RWC7s), Kirsten Conrad (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Ryno Benjamin (2009 & 2013 RWC7s)
Sweden National Teams and Professional Clubs: Minonna Nunstedt, Amanda Swartz
Trinidad and Tobago National Team: Jonathan Taylor
Tunisia: Mariam Mekni
Uganda National Team: Ian Munyani
USA National Teams and Major League Rugby: Matai Leuta (2018 RWC7s), Cyrille Cama (LA Giltinis, MLR) , Elizabeth Tafuna (USA Falcons 7s), Ryan James (LA Giltinis, MLR)
Zimbabwe National Team: Hilton Mudariki (Zimbabwe Goshawks), Biselele Tshamala (Zimbabwe Goshawks)