Canadian stars set for Games rugby sevens

Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Organizing Committee (TO2015) has released its full competition schedule for men’s and women’s rugby sevens, one of this summer’s most anticipated competitions.

Known for its speed and power, rugby sevens is quickly becoming a fan favourite and is expected to be one of the most popular events. Rugby sevens games are fast and physical and feature some of the most intense battles for ball possession and field position anywhere in sport.

With teams made up of seven players, instead of 15 as in rugby union, and matches finished in under 30 minutes, fans can expect action-packed games.

Men’s and women’s competitions will be at Exhibition Stadium in CIBC Pan Am Park, which boasts one of the city’s most scenic views of Toronto’s skyline and is known for its lively spectator atmosphere.

Adding to the excitement, women’s rugby sevens will make its Pan Am Games debut. The Canadian women’s team, currently the top team in the Americas and third in the world, will be in good company with top competitors including the U.S., ranked sixth in the world and Argentina ranked eighth in the world.

Rounding out the women’s competitions will be teams from Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.

In the men’s competitions, reigning Pan Am men’s rugby sevens champions, the Canadians, have been drawn in the same pool as silver-medal holders Argentina. The two teams faced off in the finals at the 2011 Guadalajara Games, with Canada coming out in a 26–24 win.

The U.S. will also be one to watch this summer, thanks to the team’s sixth-place finish in the World Series. Other competing teams include Uruguay, Chile, Mexico, Brazil and Guyana.

“Based on our men’s and women’s team’s recent successes in their respective World Series circuits, and our women qualifying for RIO 2016 by finishing second place, we’ve seen an incredible amount of growth and support for rugby sevens across Canada,” said Rugby Canada General Manager Mike Chu.

“A number of our best players, including men’s captain John Moonlight and Women’s Sevens Series scoring leader Ghislaine Landry are from the GTA and are excited to compete on home soil in front of friends and family.”

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset has high expectations for this summer’s tournament.

“The Toronto 2015 tournament will showcase some fantastic talent in rugby sevens, with several of the world’s top international teams competing, in both the men’s and women’s tournaments,” said Lapasset.

“This summer will be an exciting time for the sport. Fans across the world are excited to watch as the women make their debut at this tournament and of course it is all in the context of next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as rugby makes its long-awaited return to the world’s biggest sporting stage.”

To view the full rugby sevens schedule for men’s and women’s tournaments and to buy tickets, visit