This weekend’s Elizabeth Rugby 7s (ELZ7s) is tipped to be the biggest in 66 years but event organisers say it’s just the beginning for carnival rugby in South Australia.
Saturday’s tournament at Womma Park will feature more than a dozen South Australian outfits taking on interstate teams from Queensland and Victoria plus local Pasifika community sides.
There’s plenty for families and spectators as well with food-trucks, live performers, a beer garden, and a range of special guests including former Wallaby captain and World Cup winner Phil Kearns.
“This will be our 66th tournament and we’re very proud of being the longest continuously running 7s tournament in the Southern Hemisphere,” Elizabeth club president David Zeelen said.
“It’s been through different stages, we’ve ebbed and flowed from a participation point of view, and this year we’re trying to change the event a little.
“We’re trying to get the best teams, put on the best rugby and really showcase Elizabeth 7s as a destination tournament, not just for South Australia but also across the country.
“Sometimes it feels as though rugby’s a bit of a secret society in South Australia so we’re doing everything we can to change that and promote this event as a means to draw attention to rugby more broadly.”
Along with the match-day offerings including men’s, women’s and U18 events, this year’s tournament will also be live-streamed with commentary via Spacequake Sports and the Elizabeth Rugby Club Facebook page to reach an even greater audience.
“This tournament was a really big deal about 20 years ago leading up to the Adelaide Invitational Sevens and we want to get back to that stage so we’re framing this year’s event as Year One,” tournament director Richard Neave said.
“That means making it accessible - we’ve got cameras set-up every, we’re bringing in the big screen plus our live commentary and livestreaming and we’ve got a bit of radio coverage leading up as well.”
“Ultimately, we just want people to come down and join the fun – this event means a lot to us as a community-oriented club and nothing says community and family like a sevens tournament with teams from all over the state and further afield.
“So, whether you’re a die-hard rugby fan or just looking for a good time, bring the family down this Saturday for a festival of rugby.” Entry is $5 at the gate with games kicking off at 9am and finals scheduled for 4pm.