A variant of the rugby union is the Rugby Sevens which is also known as seven-a-side or VIIs. In this variant the teams include seven players and not the usual number of 15, with the shorter matches. The International Rugby Board (IRB), which is responsible for the rugby union across the world, administers the Rugby Sevens.
The rugby Sevens found its origin in Melrose, Scotland. This is a popular tournament at almost all levels. Rugby Sevens is considered one of the most well distributed forms of the sport. It is primarily popular in the South Pacific. Other parts where the tournament is popular include Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas.
The most notable competitions of the Rugby Sevens include the Rugby World Cup Sevens and the IRB Sevens World Series. Multi sports events like the Commonwealth Games also include Rugby Sevens as a part of the event. In the commonwealth games, Rugby Sevens has been played four times, and every time the winner of the championship title has been earned by New Zealand till now. With its growing popularity, and successful format, Rugby Sevens is now also recognized as an Olympic Sport. It is supposed to make its debut in the Summer Olympics that is to be held in the year 2016.
The dominant team of the IRB World Sevens series New Zealand had won 11 out of the 14 seasons that were held. Recently, teams like Fiji, South Africa and Samoa have come up as close competitors for the team of New Zealand. Other strong contenders also include Australia, Argentina and England.
The Rugby World Cup Sevens had been the highest prize amongst the different versions of the Rugby Sevens. Fiji has been the most successful in this version by winning the world cup twice, out of the 5 seasons that were organized. However, now, with the inclusion of the sport in the Summer Olympics, this has become the most high profile tournament for the Rugby Sevens.