It’s probably safe to say the idea of watching your typical Rugby match in London, is something of a no-brainer.
You buy your tickets, you show up (probably dressed in your fave supporting gear finery), watch the game (perhaps, drink in hand) and head home when the game is over. There’s not a whole lot more to it really.
But this post isn’t about your average Rugby match! This is about the London Sevens, which has somehow managed to evolve into so much more than your typical Rugby match!
Like, it’s one of those thing in London now that’s pretty much for everyone – regardless of whether or not you’re the biggest Rugby fan.
If you’re looking to party with your friends – you’ve got it. If you want a fun day out with the kids, it’s got you covered. If you just wanna enjoy the Rugby – you’re covered too! Everyone from 5 (perhaps even younger) right up to 80 (probably even older) was there and they were having the best time ever.
So here’s the thing, I’d never actually been to the London 7s before so I kinda showed up as something of a novice. I’d been to a Rugby match back when Edinburgh was home (saw Scotland play South Africa) and Lloyd’s been to a few himself (he is Welsh after all).
Full disclosure though, we were actually invited by the London 7s to attend it in Twickenham Stadium (it’s THE Rugby stadium in London) and, seeing as it’s on a bank holiday weekend, and I quite enjoyed my previous Rugby match, it was a far too easy “Yes!”.
Thing is though, I showed up expecting a regular Rugby match and came dressed as such but it’s sooooooo much more than that! It’s quite literally a party in London and is one of the best days out in London. Here’s why…
1.) You get to see so much more Rugby than a regular match day.
I figured I might as well start with the obvious one here – it is a day themed around Rugby, after all.
In a regular match, you get to see two teams play. In the London Sevens (and indeed, the Rugby Sevens as a whole), it’s a chance to see ALL the teams play… and they play all day! No matter what country you support, you’ll find a chance to cheer them on.
Understandably, of course, the games are actually a lot shorter in length than your regular Rugby match which is perfect as no matter what else you’re up to when you’re here, you can still make out enough time to watch several full matches for the team your supporting.
It is probably worth noting at this stage that a fair bit of your time will probably not even be spent watching the matches! I’ll show you exactly why further down.
I was also gonna try to explain the rules to the games (it is a different kettle of fish after all) but I’ll just quote from the official London Sevens description.
“London Sevens is traditionally played with teams of fifteen players, so with less than half the players on the pitch, only seven minutes per half (ten for the finals) the pace of sevens is electrifying.
The game demands speed, agility, a high level of fitness and clever tactics. Successful teams plan and practice how to exploit the big areas of open space you get from having fewer players on the pitch. Normally there are less rucks, mauls, scrums and lineouts in the sevens game, and this usually leads to a fast moving, skilful 14 minutes of nail-biting entertainment.
In a nutshell, it’s seven players for seven minutes each half. Each team can have five subs, and if it’s a draw at full time the draw counts. In finals, extra time is played in five-minute periods, and the first team to score wins.”
Now let’s get on to the other reasons why you’ll wanna plan to attend the next London Sevens…
2.) It’s a big fancy dress party and everyone’s invited!
Seriously did not expect that one! I love a good bit of fancy dress (my friends and I take Halloween very seriously each year) and yes somehow this is the second time I’ve missed the memo on the fancy dress.
It doesn’t matter though if you decide to just come in your regular clothes – you’ll still end up part of the action, it is nice though to go all out on the fancy dress front.
We love a good party in London (especially on a sunny bank holiday weekend) and we most definitely love a good reason to dress up so the energy here is brilliant. Everyone’s here for a great time and it’s just the best fun!
There was no genre, theme or movie inspiration left out on the fancy dress front! (*Still remember seeing a group of people dressed as chickens meeting a group dressed as the colonel from KFC and proceeding to cluck maniacally and bow down in reverence to the KFC colonels 😆😆).
Then there are the bars. You’ve got so many everywhere with everything from beers, Prosecco and Pimms (to mention, but a few) right through to speciality gin cocktails. There’s also enough food offering here to match said bars so you won’t go hungry here.
3.) There’s a fairground here with rides and live performances.
I kid you not! I thought I’d somehow walked out of the stadium and worried about whether I had my ticket on me to get back in for a brief second before realising that it was all part of the London Sevens.
You’ve got bumper cars, Ferris wheels and other rides – which is in large part why it’s making a fun day not just for adults but for kids as well.
4.) There’s room to chill out for a bit and treat yo’self.
The concept of VIP boxes is probably not new to anyone remotely interested in sports so I won’t spend too long on this point but essentially, if you wanna treat yourself while you’re here, it is worth considering ways to get yourself a box seat.
We were lucky that as guests of the London Sevens, we had access to the boxes but when we do return on our own dime (*which I already plan to, we’ve rounded up the troops and have already locked in dates with our friends in our calendars – this time we plan on returning with epic fancy dress costumes), I plan on figuring out how to get ourselves box tickets.
The boxes also have other benefits on the food and drinks front too. When we were in the Britvic boxes, we got to try out some pretty great cocktails made with – you guessed it, Britvic mixers (even if you don’t know the company name – you’ll know their products; Tango, Robinsons, J20…etc are examples of some of them).
It was just brilliant – amazing views and a stream of seemingly never-ending cocktails. The. Best!
There’s also somewhere else worth noting and that’s the Ale House here which is kinda like a pub bar bit which is another great option if you don’t have box seats. We got access to this as well and kept popping back in for drinks and just to kick back for a little bit (the queues were much shorter here as only those with access to it could pop in here).
5.) Get yourself an official Rugby souvenir.
You’re in the home of Rugby after all so it’s only right that you get yourself something to remember the day by.
I went for a personalised t-shirt that said Yaya 7 – which you would think was because of the London Sevens but was actually because Lloyd had chosen the same shirt as me but had decided to go for number 1 which for some reason meant that any number lower than that wouldn’t work except for lucky number 7! (Don’t question my logic Lol! 😄 Even I know how flawed it is… 😄😆).
6.) Check out all the Rugby firsts, including the World Cup at the Rugby Museum.
A museum on a day like this, with the sun shining and many beers/delicious cocktails out there still with your name on it might seem like a strange decision but this is actually a really fun museum.
Yes, you’ll get to see the very first rugby ball ever played. You’ll get to find out how the whole sport started, the baths the teams use and even see the shirts used in the first Rugby match but one of my favourite things about this museum is how interactive it is.
You can test your Rugby still by pushing again actual resistance, switch off all the sequences of lights on a wall to test your agility and even attempt a simulated kick across a virtual stadium.
And, if that’s not enough, you get to see the actual Rugby World Cup – which is quite a thing of beauty! 😀
Even after the Rugby has finished the party continues!
Fine you’ll have to leave Twickenham Stadium, and you’ll probably want to cos the bars will be closed by this point anyway (which is around 6.15pm) but the party continues all around Twickenham.
Makeshift food stalls have been set up, the bars have been prepping themselves for your impending descent upon them and even the area down by the river is filled with revellers.
Long after we left (had a train to catch early the next day), you could still see the London Sevens revellers (thanks to Instagram Stories) carrying on till late. That energy you could feel in the air at the start of the day has only grown stronger as the day progressed and it is just one of the most fun ways to spend a bank holiday weekend in London, hands-down!
Article credit to: https://handluggageonly.co.uk/2019/05/27/this-is-the-best-way-to-watch-rugby-in-london/