Alec Coombes
  1. The Scottish Border town of Melrose is known as the ‘Birthplace of Sevens’ where the first game of Rugby 7s was played back in 1883.

2. Rugby 7s is a fast paced, high tempo game, played with 7s players a side, for two seven-minute halves, with a 2-minute break in between.

Patrick Kelly

Femi Sofolarin

3. In a Rugby 7s game, it is 5 points for a try, and 2 points for the subsequent conversion kick. Players can kick a penalty for 3 points or kick a drop goal for 3 points.

4. The Men’s Rugby 7s competition will take place at the Shaw Park Cultural Complex on the island of Tobago and will be contested by Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Jamaica, Scotland, Fiji, and South Africa.  

5. All 13 players selected for the Youth Games have been part of the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy or involved with SQ Performance Pathway.  

Up next in our Trinbago 2023 Sport Focus series, we are very excited to be hearing from two of our Rugby athletes who have been selected to represent Team Scotland in the Men’s Rugby 7s competition at Trinbago 2023.

We caught up with captain Johnny Ventisei and Fergus Wood following their selection and asked them how they were feeling ahead of the games and what they love so much about Rugby 7s.

Not long to go until the start of the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games, how are you feeling ahead of the games and how does it feel representing Scotland?

Fergus: Representing Scotland is always an honour and definitely the main aspiration for everyone involved that wants to develop themselves as a player. The squad is definitely building confidence, with every training session being a chance to excel as a team.

Johnny: I’m really excited to get started at the games. It’s obviously an incredible opportunity for everyone involved and one we are all really looking forward to. It’s wonderful to be involved in a game like rugby sevens which originates from Scotland. It’s always an honour representing your country at any level and one that brings a lot of pride, especially at a unique multi sport event such as the commonwealth games.

Rugby 7s is quite a bit different from the 15 a side we often see, what do you enjoy most about Rugby 7s and what makes it so exciting to watch?  

Fergus: I think what makes sevens so exciting to watch is the fact that the game can turn at any moment, with everyone having to work hard on the pitch. I personally enjoy the freedom to play that sevens allows for. 

Johnny: Rugby 7s is a very entertaining game, it’s very fast paced and played at an extremely high skill level which creates exciting, flowing, running rugby. It’s played on a full size rugby pitch meaning the amount of work and effort put in by each player is enormous, but this adds to the beauty of the game.

What has been a highlight of your Rugby career so far?

Fergus: The highlight of my career so far has definitely got to be representing Scotland at the Under-18 Six Nations festival in April. 

Johnny: The highlight of my rugby career so far would be representing Scotland at the U18 six nations. Being able to sing the National anthem with friends at your side and family and friends watching is a very special feeling.

How have you and the team been preparing over the past couple of months ahead of the games?

Fergus: The team has been preparing really well, initially we laid the foundations of sevens and made it clear the style of rugby we want to play, but as we’ve built up the number of sessions, we’ve been able to raise the intensity and focus amongst the group which has been brilliant to be a part of.

Johnny: It’s been an intense period of training building up towards the games. Places for the squad were highly contested and as a squad we have worked really hard throughout the selection process and training. We have already seen great progress and togetherness. It’s all coming together really well for the final week of training to put us in the best place possible for the games.

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