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Rugby Tournaments Around the World: Beyond the Mainstream

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Think you know all about rugby? Think again! Rugby’s reach extends far beyond the well-known World Cup, touching corners of the globe with a variety of thrilling tournaments. From club championships to regional showdowns, our blog uncovers hidden gems that satisfy your rugby cravings.

Dive in for a world tour of rucks, mauls, and tries!

Key Takeaways

  • Rugby’s global appeal extends to various thrilling tournaments such as the World Rugby Sevens Series, Commonwealth Games, and the Women’s Six Nations Championship, highlighting diversity and talent worldwide.
  • The inclusion of rugby sevens in the Summer Olympics has significantly elevated the sport’s visibility and appeal on an international scale, with teams displaying high skill levels in short-format matches.
  • Club and provincial rugby competitions like The Six Nations Championship and Super Rugby present high-quality matchups that draw widespread attention from passionate fans across different continents.
  • Regional tournaments including Major League Rugby in the United States and the Asian Rugby Championship play a crucial role in developing local talent while increasing rugby’s popularity within those regions.
  • Alternative events such as Premier Rugby Sevens offer unconventional competition platforms that contribute to expanding rugby audiences worldwide, showcasing emerging stars alongside established athletes.

International Rugby Tournaments

The international rugby scene is filled with thrilling tournaments that go beyond the mainstream, including the World Rugby Sevens Series, Summer Olympics, and Commonwealth Games. These events showcase top-tier talent from around the world, drawing in fans and creating a global impact on the sport.

World Rugby Sevens Series

Teams from across the globe compete in the World Rugby Sevens Series, showcasing their speed and skills in a fast-paced version of rugby. This series consists of numerous tournaments where national teams play against each other in matches that last just 14 minutes – seven minutes per half.

Fans get to witness an electrifying display of agility and strategy as players dash across the field, making every second count.

Countries host these events throughout the year, giving rugby enthusiasts multiple opportunities to follow this thrilling format. The atmosphere is vibrant with excitement as supporters cheer for breathtaking tries and nail-biting finishes.

Standout athletes become well-known faces due to their impressive performances on this international stage which features some of the most intense competitions in world rugby.

World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series

Transitioning from the high-intensity action of the World Rugby Sevens Series, the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series showcases elite women’s rugby talent on a global stage. For female athletes, this competition is a platform to demonstrate speed, skill, and athleticism in a fast-paced format.

The series features top teams from around the world competing in various tournaments throughout the season.

Crowds gather to witness these fiercely competitive events where players showcase their agility and strength. As awareness and support for women’s sports continue to grow globally, the Women’s Sevens Series provides an opportunity for talented female athletes to shine while inspiring future generations of rugby players.

Summer Olympics

The Summer Olympics features rugby sevens as one of the tournaments, adding to the rich tapestry of global competitions. In 2016, rugby sevens made its return to the Olympic stage after a hiatus of 92 years, with Fiji clinching the gold for both men’s and women’s events.

The sport’s inclusion in such a prominent event has significantly elevated its visibility and appeal on an international scale.

The Summer Olympics showcases top-tier athletes competing for glory in various sports. Rugby fans eagerly anticipate witnessing their favourite teams battle it out on this prestigious platform alongside other world-class competitors.

The significance of rugby sevens at the Summer Olympics embodies the sport’s growth from traditional roots to global recognition and acceptance as a mainstream sporting spectacle.

World Cup Sevens

After the excitement of the Summer Olympics, rugby fans eagerly anticipate the fast-paced and exhilarating World Cup Sevens. This prestigious tournament features top teams from around the globe competing in an electrifying showcase of skill, speed, and agility.

With matches lasting just 14 minutes, players demonstrate extraordinary athleticism as they battle for victory on the international stage.

The World Cup Sevens is a highly anticipated event that draws attention from global followers and fans of rugby. As one of the most exciting tournaments in nontraditional rugby, it holds a special place in showcasing diverse talent and fostering increased participation in the sport.

Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games offers a platform for rugby to shine on the global stage, showcasing the sport’s diversity and talent. Rugby sevens made its debut in the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, captivating fans with its fast-paced and exhilarating matches.

Since then, the tournament has become an integral part of the Games, drawing attention from around the world. The teams competing at this event reflect rugby’s widespread appeal across various Commonwealth nations, adding a unique dimension to the competition.

Moving forward with Regional Tournaments – Asian Rugby Championship -, let’s explore how this tournament has contributed to rugby’s growth and development in Asia.

Asian Games

The Asian Games features rugby competitions that showcase the sport’s growing popularity in the region. The tournament provides a platform for countries across Asia to compete at an international level, fostering talent and promoting rugby union within communities.

With the increasing participation and interest in rugby, the Asian Games serve as a vital avenue for athletes to represent their nations and inspire future generations of players. As global followership and participation in rugby continue to rise, events such as the Asian Games play a pivotal role in expanding the sport’s reach across diverse cultures and audiences.

Rugby enthusiasts can witness captivating matches at the Asian Games where national teams demonstrate their skills on an international stage. This not only enhances the visibility of rugby but also contributes to its status as a universally enjoyed sport.

Pan American Games

The Pan American Games host rugby sevens, showcasing the sport’s diversity and global reach. The event provides a platform for countries across the Americas to compete at an international level, promoting inclusivity and participation in rugby.

With a growing fan base and increased commercial income, rugby sevens at the Pan American Games continues to make its mark on the global stage.

The tournament attracts attention from both established fans and new followers of rugby, contributing to the sport’s increasing popularity. Rugby sevens’ presence at the Pan American Games not only elevates its status but also fosters greater interest in non-mainstream competitions, diversifying the landscape of global rugby tournaments.

European Sevens Championship

Moving on from the Pan American Games, let’s delve into the European Sevens Championship. The European Sevens Championship is a prestigious tournament that showcases the exhilarating and fast-paced version of rugby union.

It brings together top teams from across Europe to compete in an action-packed display of skill and athleticism. The championship serves as a platform for up-and-coming talent while also providing established players with an opportunity to demonstrate their prowess on an international stage.

Rugby enthusiasts can anticipate thrilling matchups and electrifying plays as teams vie for supremacy in this dynamic competition. With its growing popularity, the European Sevens Championship continues to attract avid followers and contribute to the sport’s widespread appeal, embodying the essence of rugby’s global reach.

Premier Rugby Sevens

Premier Rugby Sevens is a fast-paced, high-energy rugby competition that features elite athletes from around the world. The tournament showcases the excitement of sevens rugby, with its quick play and dynamic athleticism.

Premier Rugby Sevens provides a platform for players to display their speed, skill, and agility in a thrilling format that captivates audiences globally. This event not only entertains fans but also contributes to the growth and popularity of rugby as it continues to evolve into a more diverse and inclusive sport.

The Premier Rugby Sevens offers an alternative and unconventional approach to traditional rugby tournaments, attracting attention from both dedicated fans and newcomers to the sport.

Club and Provincial Tournaments

The Six Nations Championship and The Rugby Championship are prestigious club and provincial tournaments that showcase top-tier international rugby competition. These events often feature powerhouse teams from different countries competing for supremacy on the global stage.

Six Nations Championship

The Six Nations Championship is an annual international rugby competition that draws fervent support from fans, showcasing the top European rugby nations‘ competitive spirit. The tournament involves England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales competing for the championship title over a period of seven weeks.

Each team plays five matches against their opponents – both home and away – creating intense battles on the field. With its rich history dating back to 1883 and strong regional rivalries at play, the Six Nations Championship consistently attracts large crowds and TV audiences globally.

Rugby enthusiasts eagerly anticipate this event due to the fierce rivalry it breeds among the participating teams. The championship remains a significant platform for players to exhibit their skills in leading their national teams to victory.

The Rugby Championship

The Rugby Championship is an annual international rugby union competition featuring four of the top-ranked teams in the southern hemisphere – Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

This prestigious event provides thrilling matchups between powerhouse rugby nations, showcasing fast-paced action and fierce rivalries on the field. With a focus on high-quality gameplay and intense competition, the tournament draws widespread attention from passionate rugby fans worldwide.

As one of the most fiercely contested competitions in international rugby, The Rugby Championship delights fans with exceptional athleticism and skill. Each participating team brings its unique style of play to this esteemed tournament, adding to the excitement for enthusiasts following their favourite national teams compete at the highest level.

British and Irish Lions Tour

The British and Irish Lions Tour represents a unique rugby tradition, with their alternate-year tours to the southern hemisphere attracting global attention. The tour sees standout players from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales coming together to form one formidable team.

This unity showcases the strength of these nations combined as they face off against major rugby powerhouses such as New Zealand and South Africa. Fans eagerly anticipate this historic event for its fierce competition and compelling display of sportsmanship.

Participating in the British and Irish Lions Tour holds great significance for players from all nations involved. It is an opportunity for them to represent not just their individual countries but also the collective pride of the British Isles on a grand stage.

European Rugby Champions Cup

Transitioning from touring events to club and provincial tournaments, the European Rugby Champions Cup stands out as a premier competition in the rugby world. Teams from England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Italy battle it out for supremacy in this prestigious event.

With a rich history dating back to 1995, the tournament has seen powerhouse clubs such as Toulouse and Saracens etch their names into rugby folklore. The European Rugby Champions Cup not only showcases top-tier talent but also provides a platform for emerging stars to make their mark on the sport.

Participants bring intense rivalry onto the pitch backed by fervent fanbases creating an electrifying atmosphere throughout each match. As one of Europe’s most anticipated rugby competitions, it offers fans high-stakes drama and remarkable displays of athleticism.

Super Rugby

While the European Rugby Champions Cup showcases top clubs from Europe, Super Rugby presents a platform for premier rugby teams from New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. This elite competition features fast-paced matches and high-quality rugby talent, captivating audiences with its dynamic gameplay.

With an emphasis on skillful play and strategic teamwork, Super Rugby draws attention not only from dedicated fans but also from newcomers to the sport. The tournament serves as a testament to the global appeal of rugby and continues to contribute to the sport’s growth in popularity around the world.

Regional Tournaments

Regional tournaments such as the Asian Rugby Championship and Women’s Six Nations Championship offer a platform for teams to showcase their talent on a more local level. Major League Rugby in the United States also provides opportunities for players to compete at a regional level.

Asian Rugby Championship

The Asian Rugby Championship features a high level of competition among the national rugby teams in Asia. This championship provides a platform for countries such as Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and others to showcase their skills on the international stage.

The tournament not only fosters regional rivalry but also contributes to the development and growth of rugby within Asia. With an increasing number of followers and participants in the region, the Asian Rugby Championship plays a significant role in popularising rugby union events throughout Asia.

The championship is instrumental in promoting diversity and inclusivity within the sport by offering opportunities for lesser-known teams to gain exposure and experience at an international level.

Women’s Six Nations Championship

Continuing from the Asian Rugby Championship, the Women’s Six Nations Championship is a thrilling tournament featuring six European teams competing for rugby glory. This prestigious event showcases world-class talent and fierce competition as England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales battle it out for the championship title.

The tournament is held annually over a period of several weeks, drawing in passionate fans from around the world.

Players to watch include stars such as Emily Scarratt (England), Jessy Trémoulière (France), and Beibhinn Parsons (Ireland). These exceptional athletes bring skill, speed, and determination to the field, captivating audiences with their outstanding performances.

Major League Rugby (United States)

The Major League Rugby in the United States has gained significant traction, contributing to the sport’s rising popularity. With an increase in rugby participation and following projected globally, the league plays a crucial role in amplifying the sport’s presence.

It provides a platform for players to showcase their talent and attracts diverse audiences, driving interest in non-mainstream competitions. As rugby transitions from a niche sport to mainstream prominence, the Major League Rugby acts as an essential player in expanding its reach.

The Major League Rugby engages fans with thrilling matches and presents an opportunity for both seasoned players and emerging talent to compete at a high level. As part of efforts to grow global followers of rugby by 2025, leagues like Major League Rugby serve as catalysts for increased participation and viewership worldwide.

Notable Tournaments in Rugby

Rugby Sevens World Cup, World Rugby U20 Championship, Women’s Rugby World Cup, National Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup are just some of the diverse and exciting tournaments in rugby that go beyond the mainstream – read on to discover more!

Rugby Sevens World Cup

The Rugby Sevens World Cup showcases the most electrifying short-format rugby on a global stage. Teams compete in fast-paced, high-scoring matches, creating an atmosphere of exhilaration and unpredictability.

This tournament attracts fans from all corners of the world, contributing to the rapid growth of rugby’s followers and participants as projected by the Mastercard report.

With intense action and non-stop excitement, the Rugby Sevens World Cup stands out as a premier event in the world of rugby tournaments. The widespread appeal of this competition demonstrates the sport’s ability to captivate audiences with its dynamic gameplay and competitive spirit.

World Rugby U20 Championship

Transitioning from the high-speed action of the Rugby Sevens World Cup, we turn our attention to the next generation of rugby talent showcased in the World Rugby U20 Championship. This tournament provides a platform for promising young athletes to display their skills and compete at an international level.

With teams representing various nations, this event offers a glimpse into the future stars of rugby.

The World Rugby U20 Championship serves as a valuable stepping stone for players aiming to make their mark in senior-level competitions like the Rugby Union World Cup. As part of its impact on developing talent, it also contributes to growing global interest and participation in rugby among younger generations.

Women’s Rugby World Cup

The Women’s Rugby World Cup showcases the top teams from around the globe, competing in a fierce tournament that attracts enthusiastic fans and garners widespread attention. This prestigious event features 12 teams battling it out for rugby supremacy, with matches held every four years.

The competition not only highlights exceptional skill and athleticism but also serves as a platform for promoting gender equality and women’s participation in sports.

Rugby fans eagerly anticipate the Women’s Rugby World Cup, which has seen an increase in global followers. As this event continues to gain traction, it underscores the growing popularity of women’s rugby while inspiring more young athletes to pursue their passion for the sport.

National Rugby Championship

The National Rugby Championship showcases the best provincial rugby talent in a competitive league format. Teams from various regions compete for the championship title, providing an excellent platform for emerging players to display their skills on a national stage.

The tournament has gained significant attention and has contributed to the development of rugby at the grassroots level, engaging fans across different regions in support of their local teams.

With passionate fans and intense rivalries between teams, the National Rugby Championship offers an exciting blend of skill, speed, and physicality that keeps enthusiasts engaged throughout the season.

Bledisloe Cup

The Bledisloe Cup is an annual rugby union competition between the national teams of Australia and New Zealand. The cup was first contested in 1931 and is named after Lord Bledisloe, then Governor-General of New Zealand.

The tournament consists of a series of Test matches played in both countries, with the potential for a third match on neutral ground if needed. This fiercely competitive event holds significant importance for both nations and has become one of the most anticipated fixtures on the rugby calendar.

Featuring intense rivalries, exceptional talent, and historical significance, the Bledisloe Cup draws massive attention from fans globally. With each team vying for supremacy in this prestigious competition, the Bledisloe Cup reflects the essence of competitive spirit and thrilling athleticism that characterises top-tier rugby events.

Heineken Cup

After discussing the thrilling Bledisloe Cup, let’s delve into the exhilarating Heineken Cup. This prestigious European Rugby Champions Cup features top rugby clubs from England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales competing fiercely every year.

With a rich history dating back to 1995, this renowned tournament showcases exceptional rugby talent on an international stage.

The Heineken Cup has a significant commercial impact within Europe’s rugby landscape and attracts a large viewership globally. The competition is known for its intense matches that ignite unparalleled passion among fans and players alike.


Explore the diverse world of rugby tournaments, from international competitions to offbeat events. Uncover lesser-known leagues and regional championships that showcase the sport’s global appeal.

Embrace a vibrant spectrum of rugby beyond the mainstream, offering exciting and unconventional experiences for both players and fans alike. Witness the spirit of rugby come alive in alternative tournaments, enriching the sport’s tapestry with unique stories and exceptional talent from around the world.


1. What types of rugby tournaments exist around the world?

Around the globe, there are diverse rugby tournaments including Rugby World Cup Sevens, Super Rugby competitions, as well as regional and international tournaments that go beyond mainstream events.

2. Are there any unconventional rugby league competitions?

Yes, apart from popular leagues, many nonmainstream rugby league competitions occur worldwide, featuring alternative and offbeat tournaments for fans seeking lesser-known events.

3. Can European rugby tournaments have a social impact?

Certainly! European rugby events not only offer thrilling sports action but also contribute to positive social impacts in their communities through various initiatives linked with the games.

4. How do Rugby sevens competitions differ from traditional matches?

Rugby sevens competitions involve faster-paced games with fewer players on each team and are a key part of international tournaments like the Rugby World Cup Sevens.

5. Do all rugby tournaments contribute to broadcast and commercial income?

While major leagues often generate substantial broadcast and commercial income, even regional and lesser-known events can attract audiences and support through various media channels.

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