"Sevens Returns to London" - LIT7s To Replace Axed Twickenham Event At AFC Wimbledon Next Month - Ruck

“Sevens Returns to London” – LIT7s To Replace Axed Twickenham Event At AFC Wimbledon Next Month

When the news broke in July 2023 that the annual Twickenham Rugby Sevens event had been cancelled, rugby fans across the country were devastated to be missing out on one of the highlights of the Summer. However fear not, as elite sevens rugby will now in fact be coming to South West London, and will run on the same bank holiday weekend no less.

LIT7s have confirmed their first venture to the nation’s capital, with the announcement of the inaugural LIT7s London 7s tournament to kick-off next month. Taking place on the 25th of May, the one-day sevens spectacular descends on the Cherry Red Records Stadium, which is the state of the art home of football club AFC Wimbledon.

The tournament is set to showcase some of the best men’s and women’s sevens teams, and also include the festival atmosphere of an iconic social sevens event. There is plenty of time for partying alongside the elite level athletes, with former England flanker James Haskell set to provide the DJ tunes for the afterparty. A statement from LIT7s highlighted a handful of the elite sides set to head to Wimbledon:

“The men’s lineup features powerhouse national sides from the USA, Ireland, Germany, Jamaica and Uganda battle the best elite teams in the world including the British Army, Shoguns (formerly Samurai 7s) representing the UK, and Rugby for Heroes representing Fiji. The women’s competition promises equal excitement, with national teams from the USA, Jamaica and Uganda battle elite side Hammerheads representing GB, ensuring a day filled with exhilarating rugby action.”

Founder of LIT7s, Ellaine Gelman said: “Rugby 7s is such an exciting and actioned packed sport. We are thrilled to be able to bring this event to London and are confident that we can put on an amazing experience for all – whether rugby enthusiasts, party goers or families, everyone can have a great day out in the Bank Holiday sunshine!”

The tournament will unfold at the Red Cherry Record Stadium, home to AFC Wimbledon and the London Broncos. Notably, this marks the first time 7s rugby will grace the Stadium. LIT7s London 7s promises to be the biggest party of the Summer, featuring special guest pitch-side hosts, celebrity DJs, the ultimate party stand, and electrifying entertainment both on and off the pitch.

Mike Friday, Head Coach of USA 7s, says why he is entering his teams: “This will be a fantastic event and much needed in the 7s calendar in England with London 7s not taking place this year. It is a real opportunity for international teams to find valuable competition time for players in the lead up to the Paris Olympics.”

Shoguns (formerly Samurai 7s) representing the UK are coached by Gareth Barber, he added: “London 7s represents the opportunity for Shogun Rugby to challenge ourselves against strong competition. Wanting to expose our players and staff to continual development opportunities and this is certainly one of those. Given the quality level I am excited to see how we build towards the tournament and take on the challenge.”

Former GB and Scotland 7s legend, Megan Gaffney, playing with Hammerhead, adds her enthusiasm: “At Hammerheads we are always looking to play at a competitive level of rugby so being able to play against International teams & players is always something we look forward to at LIT7s London 7s.

“The venue & level of expected spectators coming together in one place for this event is an exciting prospect, with one pitch all day it will be all eyes on the teams playing and I can’t wait to see how we all perform on the day. I think we will fare strongly against the competition, our aim this year is to continue on from the momentum we had in 2023 and to up it this year, so this is the level of competition we need to be testing ourselves against.”

Ireland player Fergus Jemphrey shares Megan’s enthusiasm: “Highly competitive tournaments like the LIT7s London 7s always brings out the best in the squads and players attending. I’m looking forward to this new tournament in May, and playing against some of the best players in the world.”

Keep an eye on RUCK for an upcoming interview with LIT7s Founder Ellaine Gelman, to find out more about this Summer’s showcase sevens blockbuster.