May 15 2012 by Paul Bishop , Harrow Observer
SCHOOLCHILDREN from Brent came face to face with some of the stars of the Rugby World Sevens circuit last Wednesday.
In the run-up to the London Sevens at Twickenham, Grasshoppers RFC hosted the RFU’s IRB 7’s tournament at their Osterley home.
There, more than 400 pupils playing in 21 primary school teams and 15 secondary school teams from across west London competed in a day-long touch rugby festival - among them a team from Jewish Free School in Brent.
More importantly, they got to met the Sevens teams from Australia, USA, Fiji, Argentina, Portugal and Zimbabwe, as well as the England men’s and women’s teams.
On top of that, there were coaching sessions with the USA and Australia sides, two questions and answers sessions and a presentation from the Fijian side, accompanied by a traditional song.
In the evening, despite the horrendous weather, 35 players got over half an hour of playing time in with the Samoan side, who then performed the Siva Tau - their version of the Haka.
The RFU’s Pete Ward said: “It was a great opportunity to showcase the sport of seven-a-side rugby to schools from around London.
“Sevens rugby will be part of the Olympic Games from 2016 onwards, and interest is growing all the time.
“Both Sevens and touch rugby are fun and easy to get started in, even if you have never handled a rugby ball before.”