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As the July 20, 21 and 22 dates for the next 7s World Cup approaches, an event scheduled in San Francisco at AT&T Park, it’s time to remember the first World Sevens tournament held at Edinburgh, Scotland in April 1993.
This first event of a three-day format featured twenty-four teams competing in four pools, followed by an additional three games each in two more pools for a total of eight games played before the Cup semifinals. Two more matches would determine the crown, a grueling ten game skein for the championship.
England were the surprise victors of the inaugural. Surprise for two reasons; the RFU had not sent a team to the 1993 Hong Kong Sevens, and top English players picked for the Lions’ Tour were forbidden to play in the 7s World Cup. England backline Test Match stars Will Carling, Jeremey Guscott, and brothers Rory and Tony Underwood were held back.
Star power was evidenced in the Aussie team that included legend David Campese and Michael Lynagh.
England defeated Fiji 21-7 in the semifinals while Australia beat a plucky Ireland side 21-19. The Irish lost to the Wallabies also in the 1993 Hong Kong Sevens Cup final.
England conquered the Aussies 21-17 for the title after having streaked ahead 21-0. Campese and Lynagh led a spirited come back to draw within four points but the clock ran out.
Argentina defeated Spain 19-12 for the Plate. Japan spoiled host Scotland hopes by winning the Bowl.
As for the United States, the team went 1-4, the solitary win against Holland. In pool play, the Eagles lost to France, New Zealand, Ireland, and Korea.
Of note, this first World Cup 7s included teams from Latvia, Taiwan, and Romania. The USA led in average age of all squads at 28.6 years. England and Tonga tied for the youngest team at 23.6.
USA Team: Finkel, Telkamp, Hein, Hinkin, Dujakovich, O’Brian, Signes (Manager), Burgett, Stephens, Ridnell, Vizard, Brewington, Ayub (Trainer), and St. Ville (Doctor)