The Big 7s Switch

It is fair to say that athletes such as Antoine Dupont there was always a little question mark as to how he would fit into the French 7s squad with an eye on Olympic gold this summer. But in true Dupont fashion he has answered them all with aplomb. One wonders how is new team mates are taking to the switch and also how his existing 15 aside team mates that are struggling are without his presence feel about it all.

The switch to 7s is a big ask for most players, the levels of fitness required are at a different level in comparison to the 15 aside game, as is the whole concept of the game in terms of mental and tactical acumen.

One athlete that seems to be able to manage this transition without issue is Ireland’s Beibhinn Parsons it is fantastic to see her talent back in the Irish Women’s 15’s team for the up coming Women’s Six Nations.


Normally this time of year in the northern hemisphere as the ground gets a bit harder and the weather gets a bit nicer (every year except this year) we see a bit of a transition towards the faster game and more often than not as we approach the end of season take on a few 7 aside rugby festivals or indeed move towards playing tag rugby to maintain fitness for the summer months.

However there are a couple of things to consider:

  • Is 7s for everyone? Especially when we are working with junior athletes a number of them won’t be suited to or like the demands of 7s, where does that leave them at this time of the year. Do they end up getting left behind and neglected as we focus on the faster fitter game?
  • Competitive 7 aside representative sides start to pull from the 15s player pool a little earlier every year leaving teams shorn of some of their talent when it comes to the business end of the season.

How do we build this into our season planning?

Do you build in another fitness and skills block into the season to cater specifically for the switch?

Is there a middle ground… some people are touting 10s as real path forward to challenge and deliver a playing pool for the traditional 15s and 7s games, is there merit in this?

I think the jury is still out on that front. However back to Mr Dupont, will he realise his dream of Olympic gold on home soil Only time will tell.