Rugby 7s vs. Rugby Union

What's the Difference?

Rugby 7s and Rugby Union are both forms of rugby that share similarities in terms of gameplay and rules, but also have distinct differences. Rugby 7s is a faster-paced version of the game played with only seven players per team on a smaller field, while Rugby Union is played with 15 players per team on a larger field. Rugby 7s is known for its high-scoring, action-packed matches, while Rugby Union is characterized by its physicality and strategic gameplay. Both versions of the sport require strength, skill, and teamwork, but Rugby 7s is often seen as more accessible and appealing to a wider audience due to its shorter matches and dynamic style of play.


AttributeRugby 7sRugby Union
Number of Players715
Game Duration14 minutes (7-minute halves)80 minutes (40-minute halves)
Pitch Size100m x 70m100m x 70m
Scoring5 points for a try, 2 points for a conversion, 3 points for a penalty kick or drop goal5 points for a try, 2 points for a conversion, 3 points for a penalty kick or drop goal
PhysicalityMore open space, faster pace, less physical contactMore structured play, slower pace, more physical contact

Further Detail


Rugby is a sport that has gained popularity worldwide for its physicality, teamwork, and strategic gameplay. Two popular variations of rugby are Rugby 7s and Rugby Union. While both versions share similarities, they also have distinct differences that set them apart. In this article, we will compare the attributes of Rugby 7s and Rugby Union to provide a better understanding of each sport.

Playing Field

In Rugby 7s, the playing field is smaller compared to Rugby Union. A Rugby 7s field is typically 100 meters long and 70 meters wide, while a Rugby Union field is 100 meters long and 70 meters wide. The smaller field in Rugby 7s allows for faster gameplay and more scoring opportunities. Additionally, Rugby 7s matches are played in two halves of seven minutes each, making it a more fast-paced and intense game compared to Rugby Union.

Team Size

One of the most significant differences between Rugby 7s and Rugby Union is the team size. In Rugby 7s, each team consists of seven players on the field at a time, while Rugby Union teams have 15 players on the field. The smaller team size in Rugby 7s leads to more open space on the field, allowing for more running and passing opportunities. On the other hand, Rugby Union's larger team size requires more strategic gameplay and physicality to break through the defense.

Scoring System

Both Rugby 7s and Rugby Union use the same scoring system, where a try is worth five points, a conversion kick is worth two points, a penalty kick is worth three points, and a drop goal is worth three points. However, due to the faster pace of Rugby 7s, teams tend to score more frequently in a match compared to Rugby Union. The high-scoring nature of Rugby 7s makes it an exciting and entertaining sport for fans to watch.


Rugby is known for its physicality, and both Rugby 7s and Rugby Union require players to be tough and resilient. However, the physical demands of each sport differ slightly. In Rugby 7s, players need to have speed, agility, and endurance to keep up with the fast-paced gameplay. On the other hand, Rugby Union players need to have strength, power, and stamina to withstand the physicality of the larger team size and longer matches.

Tournaments and Events

Both Rugby 7s and Rugby Union have their own prestigious tournaments and events that attract fans from around the world. Rugby 7s is best known for the World Rugby Sevens Series, which features teams from various countries competing in a series of tournaments throughout the season. Rugby Union, on the other hand, has events like the Rugby World Cup, Six Nations Championship, and Rugby Championship, which showcase the best teams in the world competing for glory.

Skills and Strategy

While both Rugby 7s and Rugby Union require similar skills such as passing, tackling, and kicking, the strategy employed in each sport differs. In Rugby 7s, teams often focus on quick ball movement, offloading, and exploiting gaps in the defense due to the open space on the field. In contrast, Rugby Union teams rely on set pieces, scrums, lineouts, and structured gameplay to break down the opposition's defense and create scoring opportunities.


In conclusion, Rugby 7s and Rugby Union are two exciting variations of the sport that offer unique experiences for players and fans alike. While Rugby 7s is known for its fast-paced gameplay and high-scoring matches, Rugby Union is revered for its physicality, strategic gameplay, and prestigious tournaments. Whether you prefer the speed and agility of Rugby 7s or the power and endurance of Rugby Union, both versions of the sport showcase the best of rugby and continue to captivate audiences worldwide.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.