Here we go again!

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[Sponsored] The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series returned to Singapore in 2016 after a ten-year hiatus, and the tournament was well worth the wait. Over one weekend in April record crowds witnessed 45 exhilarating matches with rugby sevens’ greatest exponents in fine form. Off the field, raucous festivities were the order of the day everywhere between Kallang and Clarke Quay with thousands of fans decked out in over-the-top costumes. Now, it’s time to do it all over again. The 2017 Singapore Rugby Sevens is on from Apr 15-16 and we can’t wait for it to kick off. Here’s why.

The storylines

This incarnation of the Singapore Rugby Sevens might only be a year old, but it has no shortage of storylines. History was made here in 2016 when Kenya claimed their maiden World Rugby Sevens Series tournament win and they’ll be back to prove that their victory was no fluke. Beaten finalists Fiji will be out for revenge, and they return to Singapore as back-to-back series champions and Olympic gold medalists. The series’ most successful side, New Zealand, will attempt to break the recent dominance of the flying Fijians, and South Africa will continue their quest for a second series title after finishing in second place for four straight years. It’s all happening in 2017.

The local heroes

Before the Singapore Rugby Sevens kicks into high gear, Southeast Asia’s best Sevens players will compete in the SEA 7s. Happening from Apr 14-15, the SEA 7s will see Singapore’s men’s and women’s sides going up against the likes of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. The preliminary rounds will take place at Yio Chu Kang Stadium from 9am-7pm on Apr 14; admission is free. The finals will be played at the National Stadium on Apr 15; Singapore Rugby Sevens tickets are required. Singapore will look to go one better after finishing as runners up in both men’s and women’s tournaments in 2016.

The atmosphere

The atmosphere at the National Stadium during the Singapore Rugby Sevens is a highlight on its own. About 25,000 fans watched the tournament each day in 2016, and this year, that number is expected to hit 30,000. With a year of experience now, you can expect louder cheers, more hilarious costumes and harder partying as you join a crowd comprising some of the most passionate fans in all of sport.

The fringe events

As any seasoned rugby sevens fan will tell you, half the fun of a sevens tournament happens far from the playing field. On Apr 14, Tanjong Beach Club will be hosting a Singapore Rugby Sevens edition of their Bottomless Brunch. Priced at $110 (add $25 for a free flow of bubbly, house wines and tropical cocktails) and $68 for children, the spread includes Fine de Claire oysters and roast beef au jus at a live carving station. Diners can also gear up for the action by playing rugby pong while the kids get their faces painted. On Apr 15, head to McGettigan’s as they host a costume party with Heineken bottles available for $7 ($50 for a bucket of seven) and seven Jagermeister shots going for $50.

The live entertainment

Clarke Quay is the official entertainment zone for the Singapore Rugby Sevens once again, and the highlight of the weekend is undoubtedly the Music After Sevens at Fountain Square. On from Apr 14-16, the festival will see live performances spanning rock, salsa, hip-hop and more. You’ll enjoy live music from local bands in-between matches at the National Stadium too.
The 2017 Singapore Rugby Sevens takes place at the National Stadium from Apr 15-16. Tickets are available through Sports Hub Tix. For more information, head to the Singapore Rugby Sevens website.
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