What is the Difference Between Rugby 7s and 15s?

What is the Difference Between Rugby 7s and 15s?

Rugby, the rough-and-tumble sport loved by enthusiasts worldwide, comes in two exciting flavors: Rugby 7s and Rugby 15s.

These two variations might share the same oval ball and a passion for the scrum, but they’re as different as chalk and cheese! If you’ve ever wondered what sets them apart, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll delve deep into the world of rugby, exploring the key distinctions between Rugby 7s and Rugby 15s. From the number of players to the playing style, we’ve got you covered. So, tighten your cleats, and let’s kick things off!

Number of Players

Rugby 7s: The clue is in the name! Rugby 7s is played with just seven players on each side. Yep, you read that right, seven! It’s like assembling a rugby dream team with a few carefully selected stars.

Rugby 15s: In contrast, Rugby 15s fields a full-fledged army of 15 players per team. That’s almost twice as many players as Rugby 7s. If you love the idea of a packed pitch, this is where you’ll find it.

Field Size

Rugby 7s: Picture a rugby field. Now, imagine it downsized. Rugby 7s fields are notably smaller compared to their 15s counterparts. This reduction in size makes for an intense and action-packed game.

Rugby 15s: On the flip side, Rugby 15s fields are vast expanses, perfect for those who enjoy a bit of legroom. The larger field accommodates the larger number of players and sets the stage for a different kind of rugby drama.

Game Duration

Rugby 7s: If you’re in a hurry but still crave rugby excitement, 7s has got your back. Matches are sprint-like, played in two halves, each lasting seven minutes. That’s a total of just 14 minutes of game time, but oh boy, it’s non-stop action!

Rugby 15s: In the world of Rugby 15s, patience is key. Matches consist of two 40-minute halves, totaling a whopping 80 minutes of intense play. It’s a test of endurance and strategy.

Playing Style

Rugby 7s: Fasten your seatbelts because Rugby 7s is a rollercoaster! It’s known for its fast-paced, high-scoring nature. With fewer players on a smaller field, there’s more room for open running, individual skills, and creative plays. It’s like a rugby fireworks show!

Rugby 15s: Rugby 15s, on the other hand, is a battlefield of strategy and physicality. Here, you’ll witness more scrums, lineouts, and set pieces. Teamwork is paramount, and tactical maneuvers are the name of the game.

Key Differences Summarized

Still, need a quick reference? Here’s a handy table summarizing the key differences between Rugby 7s and Rugby 15s:

CharacteristicRugby 7sRugby 15s
Number of Players715
Field SizeSmallerLarger
Game Duration14 minutes (2 halves of 7 minutes)80 minutes (2 halves of 40 minutes each)
Playing StyleFast-paced, high-scoring, creativePhysical, tactical, team-oriented


Rugby 15s, often referred to simply as Rugby Union, is the more traditional and popular form of rugby in many countries. However, Rugby 7s has gained significant popularity in recent years, particularly after becoming an Olympic sport.

Is Rugby 7s less physical than Rugby 15s?

In terms of physicality, Rugby 15s tends to be more brutal due to the larger number of players and extended match duration. However, Rugby 7s compensates with its faster pace and high-scoring nature.

Are there any rule differences between the two variations?

While the basic rules of rugby remain consistent, there are slight variations in areas like scrums and lineouts in Rugby 7s to accommodate the smaller teams and fields.

Can players switch between Rugby 7s and Rugby 15s easily?

While many skills are transferable, the two variations require different levels of fitness, stamina, and specialization. Players often specialize in one format over the other.


In the world of rugby, whether you opt for the rapid adrenaline rush of Rugby 7s or the calculated battlefield of Rugby 15s, you’re in for an unforgettable experience. The choice ultimately boils down to your preferences.

Do you crave the speed, agility, and creativity of 7s, or do you prefer the physicality and tactical prowess demanded by 15s? Whichever you choose, one thing’s for sure: rugby, in any form, is a sport like no other!

So, the next time you find yourself watching a rugby match, you won’t be left scratching your head wondering, “What’s the difference between Rugby 7s and 15s?” You’ll be the rugby expert in the room, ready to share your newfound knowledge. Enjoy the game, and may the best team win, whether it’s a team of seven or fifteen!

READ MORE: Who Has Won the Most Grand Slams in Rugby? Unveiling the Legends of the Six Nations

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