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It was a splendid idea whose time had finally come; a World Cup for Rugby Sevens. Nineteen-years after the first Hong Kong 7s in 1974, the IRB (World Rugby today) organized an inaugural sevens event in April 1993 and played in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The three-day format of 24-nations started with four pools of six teams each, including many smaller nations with scant rugby sevens history. The USA was slotted in Pool B with New Zealand, Ireland, Kenya, France, and Holland.
The pre-tournament seeding listed Fiji (1), New Zealand (2), Australia (3), Western Samoa (4 tie), England (4 tie), and Scotland (6). The bottom six numbered USA (19 tie), Spain (19 tie), Hong Kong (21), Taiwan (22), Holland (23), and Latvia (24.)
After the opening rounds where each team played five matches, a round robin followed with eight teams in two separate pools advancing to determine the semi-finalists. Fiji and Ireland continued in Pool E, while Australia and England moved forward in Pool F. The number one seed New Zealand were eliminated after losses to South Africa and England.
In the semis, England defeated Fiji 21-7, and Australia beat Ireland 21-19. The Aussie team played with their stars from the Wallaby XV, including David Campese and Michael Lynagh.
The Red Roses prevailed in the final 21-17 against the Aussies, winning the Cup.
For the record, the USA went 1-4 with only a 31-0 shutout against Holland. Gary Hein was the leading Eagle try scorer with three.
The post tournament criticism emphasized that the event played too many matches; ten total for the six finalists in the Cup, Plate, and Bowl categories.
Remember, the USA host the 2018 World Rugby Sevens Cup in San Francisco this July.
(The USA Squad is pictured above.)