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First of its kind rugby 7s series to put Sussex rugby at cutting edge of the game in England

28th February 2024

  • 2024 will see high-level rugby 7s competition launch across Sussex

  • Dates confirmed to host next wave of rugby talent

  • Equal opportunities provided in anticipation of Women’s Rugby World Cup arriving in Brighton & Hove in 2025

  • Unique festival format to create greater fan engagement with both sport and live music

  • Celebrating locally sourced food and drink from across Sussex

Image copyright Sussex 7s Series

The inaugural Sussex 7s Series is set to take place in 2024, which will see a first-of-its kind rugby 7s competition taking place across the county, showcasing the best emerging rugby 7s talent in a “festival” format.

The Series (which is being hosted by rugby clubs across Sussex) is entirely new in English rugby, as the only dedicated 7s competition that is ringfence for players eligible to play for the county and who want to play at an elite-level.


Gary Henderson, Chairman of Sussex RFU, says “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to expand our offering to Sussex's rugby players. Our aim is to widen our appeal. Sevens is a fast game and is ideally suited to the younger player. This series provides a further vehicle to transition players into the senior game.”


The Sussex 7s Series does not operate on a ‘pay-to-play’ model (this is where players or teams have to pay to enter a 7s competition, a standard practice across most 7s events in the UK), which is removing a barrier to entry for players from a low-income household that can’t afford to play regularly and get spotted by scouts at talent-ID competitions.

The Series Director, Ben McNamara, said: "Not a lot of people realise that world-class players, who have represented England Rugby and Team GB 7s, started their rugby journey in local clubs based in Sussex. The vision of the competition is to create a sustainable pathway for the next wave of aspirational local rugby talent who want to compete in elite level rugby, while providing a platform for fans and local business to support them on that journey.”

The Series will see 16 rugby 7s teams (8 male and 8 female) battle it out during several legs of intense competition accumulating points to be crowned the best team in Sussex, with clubs across Sussex preparing to welcome the series.

Alex Steele, President of Pulborough RFC where current England Red Roses super-star Jess Breach played as a child, said “Pulborough RFC has a long history over the years with Sussex 7s … so we are very pleased to be part of this exciting competition and collaborate with the ongoing growth of the game.”


The series also breaks new ground by ensuring equal opportunities for female players, in anticipation of the Women’s Rugby World Cup visiting Brighton & Hove in 2025, as the series supports the explosive growth of women’s sport in England.


Geraldine Brown, Sussex RFU's Director of Women & Girls' Rugby, says "With the increased profile of women's sport and rugby in particular it is great that we will have a local opportunity to showcase 7s rugby as one of the many ways women and girls can get involved in rugby. With the Women’s Rugby World Cup coming to Brighton & Hove in 2025 it is an exciting time to be involved in the sport.”


Each host venue will welcome rugby fans and newcomers to the sport, sharing their club’s history and uniqueness – providing fun, a friendly atmosphere, and memorable experiences for the competition and its guests.


Richard Ordidge, Club Chairman of Horsham rugby club, whose men’s 1st XV made it to the inaugural Papa Johns Cup final at Twickenham in 2023 said: “We are delighted to be fielding a side in this new Sussex 7's competition and to be hosting one of the legs."


Venues include rugby clubs based across Sussex, starting in July and ending in August with the Series “Grand Final” where the last leg of the Series takes place and the overall winners will be announced.


Also unique to the Series is how it will unite entertainment and sport through live music across different legs of the series. It’s one of the few events that offers a fee to all its artists, at a time when grass-roots music venues are closing and opportunities to play in front of new audiences is becoming rarer for bands.


The Series Director, Ben McNamara, said: “Despite there being more music content online than ever before in the history of music, there are fewer and fewer opportunities for bands and artists to perform in front of a live audience. Sussex is also home to many incredible musicians, and we’re excited to be able to provide a platform for next-wave talent to perform alongside the rugby.”


Rugby teams, venues, and performing artists are to be announced, as talent identification has already begun in preparation for the first leg of the series.



The Sussex 7s Series takes place on the following dates, with venues to be announced:

  • 6th July 2024

  • 13th July 2024

  • 20th July 2024

  • GRAND FINAL: 3rd August 2024

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