RugbyX has announced the tournament lineup ahead of its inaugural event at London’s O2 Arena on 29th October.
Six of the nations competing in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will feature at the event, which is scheduled to take place between the semi finals and the final of the Rugby World Cup 2019. The men’s tournament will feature home nation England, who have been drawn into Group A and will face Ireland and the Barbarians, while France, the USA and Argentina will make up Group B.
The women’s competition, meanwhile, will start at the semi-final stage and will feature four teams, England, France, the USA and Ireland. All four women’s teams will then play two games, with either the final or the 3rd / 4th place play-off coming after the initial semi.
The new format of the sport features five-a-side teams playing a full contact version of the game on a much smaller indoor pitch. At The O2 next month, the dimensions will be 55m x 32m.
World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said: “The sanctioning of RugbyX marks an exciting step on World Rugby’s journey towards making the sport more accessible, providing an important entry point for new audiences to experience the joy, speed and skill of rugby in an indoor arena environment.
“Innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any sport and RugbyX presents a great opportunity to capitalise on increasing global interest in the days immediately preceding the Rugby World Cup final in Japan.”