World Tens Series
A new World Tens Series for rugby has been announced. The 2020 edition will take place in Bermuda, but there are plans to take it to 12 locations throughout the world in 2021.
What is the World Tens Series?
The 10-a-side World Tens Series comprises eight privately-owned teams from around the globe. They will feature world-class players say the organisers.
One of the founders and Chief Business Development Officer of the series, James Walker, said “We are pleased to announce the launch of the World Tens Series. It’s been an incredibly difficult year for us all with the pandemic, but we have secured Bermuda as the host for an 8 team 3 series event in October. We are currently filling up the team slots, with the first entrant being announced tomorrow.” Walker is also a co-founder and Head Coach at Tiger Rugby in the USA.
Former Aviators coach Paul Holmes is the Chief Operating Officer of the World Tens Series. Holmes is one of the pioneers, founding partner and a coach at Tiger Rugby, and he has brought teams to the Hong Kong Tens previously. In addition, Holmes has been involved with the Classic Eagles setup.
Aayden Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Rugby Players added: “this is a great opportunity for not only our 7s and XVs Pacific Island players, but also so many from across the world to gain a contract in one of the new Teams.”
WTS (World Tens Series) Cup
The WTS Cup is what the tens rugby teams will be competing for. The organisers claim “the WTS Cup will be considered as one of the most prestigious accolades in modern rugby.”
Bermuda Tens Series 2020
The 2020 World Tens Series will be “played as a closed event with a high-quality broadcast production and global distribution set to wow fans around the world.” There will be 8 teams split into two pools who will compete in round-robin matches.
The World Tens Series has been developed to become the “IPL of rugby” say the organsiers.
The organisers of the new Tens rugby series have said: “Bermuda has been selected as host destination for the inaugural World Tens Series, kicking off two weeks of international rugby action this fall.”
There are three rounds of matches in 2020 scheduled:
- Round 1: October 24–25 2020
- Round 2: October 31–November 1 2020
- Finals: Bermuda National Stadium November 7th 2020
Format of the World Tens Series Games
- 10 minutes each way / 2-minute half-time.
- 16 Players selected from 20 man squad for each match.
- Unlimited rolling substitutions allowed throughout each match.
In addition, no games can result in draws and points for converted tries can vary depending on where the kicker converts from – see below for more information.
What rugby teams are playing at the World Tens Series 2020?
In total, 8 teams are set to play at the World Series this year in Bermuda. By the time of publishing, five teams have been confirmed. It will be interesting to see if there will be representation from Asia.
(We will update this when more teams are confirmed).
The Ohio Aviators (USA)
The Ohio Aviators are based in Columbus, Ohio (USA) and have previously competed in the PRO rugby tournament, however that was four years ago. The team has a new logo too.
Director of Rugby, Tom Rooney said “We are extremely excited to revive this Pro Rugby legacy brand, team and culture and jump into the World Tens format. We have great player depth and interest, something that will give us a strong footing in the tournament structure, especially considering the pace of play that we are expecting.”
For more information on their squad, read more here.
SX10 (Cape Town, South Africa)
Based in Cape Town, South Africa, the SX10 rugby Tens team has former South Africa 7s player, Frankie Horne as head coach. They promise “plenty of tries, offloads and side steps from his exceptionally skilled and diverse squad.”
Asia Pacific Dragons
The ADP (Asia Pacific Dragons) is a well-established tens brand, who have competed at the Hong Kong Tens for several years and at the Singapore World Club 10s in 2014, with many marquee players, mostly hailing from the Pacific islands.
For the WTS, Former Rugby World Cup-winning Australia number 8, Toutai Kefu will coach the team while Nafi Tuitavake (New Zealand 7s and Tonga 15s), Osea Kolinisau (Fiji 7s Olympic Gold winner), Api Naikatini (Fihi 7s) and Tomasi Alosio (Samoa 7s) have all signed up to the Dragons squad.
The London Royals will have a British outlook and have already confirmed England 7s players England 7s players Tom Mitchell, Tom Bowen and Alex Davis.
Tom Bowen added, “it’s been a long time since I have played and Tens is such an exciting format of the game, I’m really looking forward to it! To have it in a location like Bermuda is the icing on the cake.”
Tom Mitchell has been the England 7s for several seasons on the HSBC World 7s Series.
Miami Sun is the second US team to be confirmed to participate at the World Tens Series and “will include a squad full of some of the most exciting players from around the globe.”
The WTS says that the “The Sun will be led by a world-renowned Head Coach with vast amounts of international experience.”
Miami doesn’t have any current Major League Rugby (MLR) representation.
COVID-19 concerns at World Tens Series 2020
On concerns over COVID-19, the hosts say “Bermuda’s robust testing programmes and COVID-19 protocols have ensured the island is now one of the safest places in the world, rated Level 2 by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), along with only four other destinations. The World Tens Series will ensure all protocols and testing steps are taken to ensure a safe transition into a Bermuda “bubble.”
World Tens Series 2021
It will be interesting to see what interest this tournament attracts and the broadcast options as well as the type of teams and players that get involved.
The organsiers plan to increase the number of tournaments in 2021 saying “The World Tens Series will step up a gear in 2021 with expansion to 16 teams playing at 12 locations throughout the world.”
They say that each location will host the tournament for one week, “with the season set to run for four months, ensuring players perform to the best of their abilities and fans always have plenty of rugby entertainment to look forward to.”
It would be great to see the Series have a leg in Asia, as tens rugby is incredibly popular in the region already.
- How successful was the Japan Rugby World Cup 2019?
- Asia Rugby Transformed in 2020
- Rugby World Cup 2021 Coaching Internship Programme.
- Rhino has signed a deal with Asia Rugby until 2024.