Rugby sevens has been played at all Commonwealth Games since its first appearance at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was an optional sport that was included for 2002 and 2006, but was made a 'Core' sport by the Commonwealth Games Federation, necessitating its appearance at all future games from the 2010 Games onward.
Prior to 2018, rugby sevens was a male-only sport at the Commonwealth Games, but a female tournament was added to the programme for the 21st Games on the Gold Coast. New Zealand dominated the men's tournament at its inception until the 2014 Games where they lost their first match to South Africa in the gold medal play-off.
1998 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
In front of 20,000 fans at the Petaling Jaya Stadium, rugby sevens was an enormous success with New Zealand collecting its 100th Commonwealth Games medal with a 21-12 win over Fiji, the reigning world champions. Man of the match was the giant Jonah Lomu who had worked tirelessly during the 10-minutes each way final. Led by veteran star David Campese, Australia took the bronze beating Samoa 33-12.
2002 - Manchester, England
Rugby sevens events were held at the City of Manchester Stadium, purpose built for the Games.
2006 - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
The venue for the rugby sevens was the Telstra Dome, on the western edge of Melbourne's Central Business District. Preliminary matches were held on 16 March, with the finals the following day.
The gold medal was won by New Zealand who defeated England 29-21 in the final on 17 March 2006. Fiji won the bronze medal, defeating Australia 24-17 in the 3rd place final. The game was overshadowed by a fit suffered by Australian Scott Fava after a legitimate tackle. Fortunately Fava recovered quickly and was released from hospital the following day.
2010 - Delhi, India
The 2010 Commonwealth Games were hit by a number of safety and health concerns, even before they started.
The venue for the rugby sevens was Delhi University.
The gold medal was won by New Zealand, defeating Australia in the final 24-17 after coming back from an Australian half time lead of 7-10. Australia were awarded the silver medal.
The bronze medal play-off between South Africa and England was closely fought, eventually won by South Africa 17-14 thanks to a second half come-back.
2014 - Glasgow, Scotland
The 2014 Commonwealth Games was held in Glasgow, Scotland, at Ibrox Stadium, normally the home of Rangers FC. Like Melbourne, and unlike Delhi and Kuala Lumpur, rugby is well established in Glasgow.
All-time medal table
Medals table for rugby sevens at the Commonwealth Games (first competed for in 1998).
Updated after the 2014 Commonwealth Games
- ^ "Women’s sevens to be included at 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast". The Courier-Mail. News. 7 October 2014.