Cape Town sevens feature image

The HSBC Rugby Sevens is a global sporting event that has become increasingly popular over the years. It is a series of international rugby sevens tournaments that take place in various cities around the world. One of the most highly anticipated stops on the HSBC Rugby Sevens circuit is the Cape Town Sevens. 

Held in the beautiful country of South Africa, this HSBC Rugby Sevens Cape Town event brings together rugby fans from all over the world to witness some of the best rugby sevens action. But what makes the Cape Town Sevens so special? In this article, we’ll explore the origins of the game, how it made its way to Cape Town, the winners for the 2024 season and the perfect place to watch the games.

Cape Town sevens - Rugby Players in Stadium

What are the Rugby Sevens?

Rugby sevens, also known simply as sevens and originally called seven-a-side rugby, is a form of rugby where teams are made up of seven-minute halves played by seven players instead of the usual 40-minute halves played with 15 players. Administered by World Rugby, the global governing body for rugby union, the game enjoys popularity at all levels, with amateur and club competitions typically held in the summer months. Sevens are widely played and appreciated in many regions, including parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the South Pacific.

Rugby Sevens (and Cape Town Sevens) History 

Rugby sevens originated in Melrose, Scotland, in the 1880s and continues to be celebrated annually with the Melrose Sevens tournament.

Melrose Scotland

The Origin of the Game

In 1883, Melrose in Scotland became the origin of rugby sevens when club captain Ned Haig wanted to collect much-needed funds by organising a Sports Day.

Haig’s proposal for a rugby tournament was initially rejected as impractical by the club’s committee due to the number of players it would require. But Haig’s boss at the local butcher shop and former Melrose captain, David Sanderson, mentioned having participated in a reduced-numbers tournament while working on the English side of the border.

The solution became clear: reduce the team size from 15 to seven players and the playing time to two halves of seven minutes each. The Melrose committee unanimously agreed to include a rugby tournament in the Sports Day, unaware of the historic significance of their decision.

From Scotland to the World

By 1921, the first rugby sevens tournament was held in England. The game gained tremendous popularity during the 1920s and 30s, with new competitions emerging worldwide. This growth reached a milestone in the 1970s with the start of the first international rugby sevens competition, the Hong Kong Sevens.

Since the turn of the millennium, the rugby sevens have experienced another surge in popularity. From the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series (of which the Rugby Sevens Cape Town is part of) to the Rugby World Cup Sevens and the Olympics, the sport continues to expand, attracting new players and fans alike.

Cape Town sevens - Rugby

After the Hong Kong Sevens, various other international rugby sevens competitions were launched, including the World Rugby Sevens Series, the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, and the Rugby World Cup Sevens. Rugby sevens was added to the Commonwealth Games in 1998 and made its Summer Olympics début in 2016.

Rugby Sevens Today

Today, rugby sevens are played worldwide, including in Tonga, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Canada, Fiji, Japan, Portugal, South Africa (Cape Town Sevens), and Samoa. It has also found popularity in emerging rugby nations such as Hong Kong, Poland, Dubai and Singapore.

Cape Town sevens - Rugby Tackle

The high point of the rugby sevens calendar is the HSBC Sevens Series, which was rebranded as HSBC SVNS in 2024. Organised by World Rugby and sometimes referred to as World Rugby Sevens, this tournament features an annual series of events showcasing the world’s best men’s and women’s rugby sevens teams.

The Start of the Cape Town Sevens

A South African (currently Sevens Rugby Cape Town) leg has been part of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series since its inception in the 1999/2000 season. The first tournament took place in Stellenbosch in 1999, then moved to Durban for the following two seasons. From 2002 to 2010, the event was held in George for nine seasons before relocating to Port Elizabeth from 2011 to 2014.

Tackling a Rugby Player

The HSBC Rugby Sevens Cape Town was inaugurated in 2015 as a new chapter in the ever-expanding HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, held at the Cape Town Stadium (currently named the DHL Stadium until 2025 for sponsorship reasons). Fans quickly embraced the event, and its prestige was cemented when it was recognised as South Africa’s best sports event at the 2017 Discovery Sport Industry Awards. Today, it’s not just a highlight of South Africa’s sporting year but also a crown jewel in the global rugby sevens circuit and the Sevens Rugby Cape Town 2024 event was no different.

Aerial View of the DHL Stadium

Cape Town Sevens: The Iconic Cape Town Stadium

Hosting the tournament (including the Rugby Sevens Cape Town 2024 tournament) is the impressive Cape Town DHL Stadium, constructed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. With a capacity of 55 000 Cape Town Sevens spectators, the stadium offers breathtaking views of Table Mountain and sits at the vibrant heart of Cape Town. This state-of-the-art venue is the perfect stage for the fast-paced action of rugby sevens.

Cape Town sevens - DHL Stadium

Who Won the 2024 Rugby Sevens?

France and Australia were the champions in the 2024 Rugby Sevens championship for the men’s and women’s teams, respectively.

What’s Next for the Cape Town Sevens?

Unfortunately, the excitement of the Cape Town Sevens 2024 season is already over, but the HSBC Rugby Sevens 2025 season details will be released soon. Visit the official website,, to stay up-to-date with all the latest information.

Foresters Arms: The Perfect Venue to Watch the Cape Town Sevens

Foresters Arms in Newlands is the perfect place to watch all the Rugby Sevens action– every year. Here are some of the reasons to book a table:

  1. Drinks to Satisfy Every Thirst and Toast to the Cape Town Sevens

Cape Town Sevens drink enthusiasts will appreciate Forries’ extensive selection of wines, spirits, beers, and crafted cocktails. For those who prefer non-alcoholic beverages, we offer a wide array of options. Our selection of warm drinks, such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and mulled wine, is perfect for the colder months. Whatever your taste or craving, Forries stands out as one of Cape Town’s premier outdoor dining spots, ensuring every guest finds something to love while enjoying the rugby internationals.

Forries Staff holding up beer buckets
  1. Menu That Celebrates a Variety of Tastes and Preferences

The Forries menu offers a diverse culinary journey designed to cater to the varied tastes and dietary needs of our guests watching the Cape Town Sevens. Whether you’re a meat lover, follow a vegetarian lifestyle, or need to manage food sensitivities like gluten or dairy intolerance, Forries is committed to ensuring your dining experience is both enjoyable and inclusive.

Forries Banting Base Pizza

For vegetarians and those seeking plant-based meals, Forries provides a range of flavourful and nutritious dishes, including vibrant salads, artisan pizzas, and a variety of enticing starters. The menu also accommodates guests with dietary restrictions by offering options like banting-friendly pizzas, ensuring everyone can partake during the rugby internationals.

  1. Child-Friendly Dining Options

Our menu is thoughtfully crafted to appeal to our younger guests, featuring a variety of healthy, tasty, and kid-approved options. From classic Margherita pizza and golden-battered hake to juicy beef burgers and delicious chicken strips, there’s something for every young diner. We encourage kids to get creative by customising their pizzas with toppings ranging from ham and bacon for meat lovers to pineapple and mushrooms for vegetarian choices. At Forries, we ensure that both adults and children, Cape Town Sevens enthusiasts have a delightful dining experience.

Kids making Pizza

Visit Forries for the Cape Town Sevens

Head over to Foresters Arms and watch all the sports excitement while enjoying a delectable meal with friends and family and an ice-cold beer. Our mouth-watering cuisine, strategically placed screens, and vibrant crowds guarantee an unforgettable experience. 

Come and visit us any day of the week:

Mondays – Thursdays – 11:30 to 23:00

Fridays – 11:30 to 00:00 

Saturdays – 09:00 to 23:00 

Sundays – 09:00 to 21:00
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated with our latest news and updates on when the Cape Town Sevens 2025 will be showing. To book a table, message us on WhatsApp at 071 269 0898, call us at 021 689 5949, or click here to reserve online.

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