Rugby Sevens Tournament to be Scaled Back

Good news for all those people (i.e. pretty much most of Twickenham) who were angered by the volume of rubbish in the streets after last May’s Marriot London 7s tournament at the rugby stadium. The fancy dress themed rugby party left a trail of litter and discarded alien outfits across the town centre. The RFU have responded to complaints from residents and discussions with the El Brute to scale back next year’s event. The plan?

* Attendance will be capped at 35,000 per day, a lower level than before.
* Stadium bars will have restricted opening and the police will have ‘dispersal power’ around the stadium and in the town centre.
* The RFU and LBRuT will work together on a ‘comprehensive street cleaning and toilet plan’.
* The fancy dress theme will be dropped in favour of a more family friendly approach.

Letter from RFU

Letter from RFU

[Click on the pic to enlarge it.]

In the ‘Dear neighbour’ letter the RFU say they take their relationship with the local community ‘very seriously’. Comments or questions can be emailed to

So, positive steps it would seem and all those stag do’s will have to look elsewhere for their drinking session in the sun next May. A victim of its own ‘success’ perhaps?

* Twickerati pics from May’s Marriot London 7s


Filed under Council, Local Issues & News

17 responses to “Rugby Sevens Tournament to be Scaled Back

  1. The RTT reports:

    “Oi, put that penis away” story gets the Richmond & Twickenham Times on Radio 4’s The News Quiz
    New rugby sevens measures to tackle urinating in public, litter and antisocial behaviour, RFU announce
    Next year’s rugby sevens takes place over the weekend of May 21-22.

  2. the sevens weren’t the subject of a few complaints – -they were the subject of countless complaints – it was a shambles last year, and the RFU knew without being told that they had subjected the community to an unacceptable experience. It’s hard to know why it went so wrong — fro instance street cleaning on Whitton Road is normally excellent, at 8am sunday morning you normally wouldn’t know there had been an event, but at the sevens it was appalling.
    But also, regardless of residents complaints, I think the RFU have woken up to the fact that the sevens do NOT represent the values and brand that RFU are trying to project for rugby. Hence the the change.

  3. David Johns

    It’s a shame that the National Press focus on the “nimby” people of Twickenhamand ignore the fact that on the Finals Day (when the rugby is played) there are never more than 25,000 attending.

  4. Lobster

    Oh dear, do the words over and reaction spring to mind! Seriously, the RFU are loaded!! God forbid they stick their hands in their pockets and line the residential streets with toilets and security to prevent last years issue. Oh and cleaning staff.. Giving needed employment but nooooo, why would they when its far easier to take the simple option and just ruin the fun for the VAST majority of humans who go there and have a brilliant time. Typical reactionary response. How could they get it so wrong.

    • Riverside Voter

      Sorry but how will this ruin the fun for the vast majority of fans? All the RFU are doing is altering the marketing of the event so it doesn’t attract the twenty somethings who came for something that was marketed as a low rent comicon crossed with an all nighter in Ayia Napa, possibly without actually being in any danger of seeing any rugby because they didn’t get past buying cheap vodka in Morrisons and getting out of it binge drinking on the riverside. Even Ayia Napa is beginning to crack down on the sort of behaviour that ensues. Nothing proposed will stop the vast majority who go there to enjoy the rugby and have a fun afternoon watching it, possibly even dressing up and having a few drinks too.

  5. twickerman

    I welcome the RFU and El Brute taking measures to calm down the 7s Saturday fancy dress mega piss-up. The amount of pissing, pooping and littering in the town centre was totally unacceptable.

    BTW, the 7s finals on the Sunday, with 40k fans, were pretty civilised. I was there and had a great time.

    What surprises me is that the Army v Navy match, which until this year has always been the messiest by far, will carry on without any controls on fan numbers, drinking hours or dispersal powers.

    So far the RWC had been fantastic, and lessons need to be learnt by the RFU & Council about managing the crowds, toilets and bins for future events at Twickers.

    Let’s just hope that the MonsterJam, i.e. monster racing trucks aren’t allowed to pollute HQ from next year.

    • the Army-Navy features early pub closings @ 8pm — and lots of military police on the steets.
      BUT it has become extraordinarliy popular in just the last few years, growing from 35k to 70k to sell out attendance.
      They need to scale up the crowd control a little.

  6. I’m guessing Foxy and Sevens Girl aren’t the ones who think it’s perfectly OK to puke over someone’s gate and actually enter residents’ gardens to piss. Good for them. A slurred “sorry” didn’t quite cut it when we caught the (many) culprits, though a blast from the Supasoaker sobered them up a tad. I’m happy with the rugby on regular match days – I like the cheery atmosphere – and the first World Cup games seemed to go well, certainly from the point of view of those of us here on the riverside where the worst of the 7s behaviour took place. All people have to do in order for us not to “ruin the essence” of the 7s is for you punters to have the good manners not to behave like complete twats. Not that hard, is it?

  7. Foxy

    I love the way people who live in Twickenham always find something to moan about when it comes to rugby. I am sure people who live right next to Wembley Stadium don’t moan half as much as Twickenham folk. What the RFU and local Council should be doing is telling residents to either put up, shut up or MOVE. Solution.

    • Sally

      Tell you what, Foxy. Twickenham is home to a stadium but it is also home to.over 52,000 people. Kind of like wherever you live.And, just as where you live, the people have the right not to put up with appalling anti social behaviour. The Sevens event was aggressively adversitied by the RFU as a party destination first and foremost, in fact, a 24 hour party. Rugby barely got a mention.
      .This new focus showed in the behaviour of the hoards who showed up and, in some cases crapped in the children’s playground, threw up on the street and peed where they chose. It was as bad as many residents had ever dealt with .
      Foxy,grow up! Enjoy the games. Wear a funny hat if you want to.But don’t stamp,your foot and say “It’s not FAIR, other Boroughs let me act however I like ! Why CAN’T I pee in their gardens? “

    • illiad1

      foxy, I doubt whether you *actually* live near the Wembley stadium… and I am sure most who do, only think of twick as a ‘rugby trip’… If they want ‘country’ then perivale is closer…

      And I will bet the residents around Wembley stadium (park rd, dagmar) will have something to say about messed up front gardens…

  8. chudleighd247

    The 7’s are generally not attended by Rugby Fans or people who play 7’s. It is “win or lose, we are on the booze” . Having gone to the last Rugby game at Twickenham i think it was 75,000 vast majority were Rugby fans and well behaved. I was impressed with; toilet availability, entertainment after the game and the next day Twickenham all back up and running fine. I’d focus on leaning from the world cup, targeting the right audience. The fancy dress has gone on for years and you cant refuse entry to someone just because they have their storm trooper outfit on

  9. sevens girl

    Spoil sports! I’ve been to the 7s for the last 4 years and it’s always great fun and the dressing up and party atmosphere is a big part of that.

    If you live in twickenham (as I do) you’ve got to accept that occasionally you’re going to be inconvenienced by the rugby. I appreciate it was a massive mess last year but within 2 days it was all cleaned up.

    It seems such a shame to ruin the essence of the sevens just because the few disgruntled are louder than the many residents who really don’t care or even enjoy it!

    • Rufus McDufus

      1 person died & 1 was seriously injured (or worse?) weren’t they? Bit more than a massive mess.

    • Alexis

      I’m sorry “sevens girl” but I must disagree with you.

      I am also a Twickenham resident and attended virtually every Middlesex sevens tournament in the ’80’s. Because I live a mile from the ground, I used to get the task of parking my Austin Ambassador – (remember that one!) in the West car park full of picnic and grog and went back for it the next day – it was only one day then.

      No-one wore fancy dress other than Barbours, cavalry twills, flared jeans, or the odd weirdo sporting red trousers! It was a great fun day, plenty of male cheerful drunkenness without any of the unpleasantness and nasty behaviour which so characterises todays tournament – “sevens girl” might well have enjoyed that?

      Sadly today’s youngsters seem to consider appalling behaviour outside the ground quite acceptable as long as you are wearing fancy dress or a purple wig – its a sort of multi-uni freshers week crammed into two days in a small town and is, quite rightly, unnacceptable to those who’s lives are blighted by the behaviour of the growing minority.
      What a pity.

    • Riverside Voter

      I assume you wouldn’t enjoy waking up to pooh, condoms, sick and other evidence that people have treated your garden like a toilet? Many residents including me do enjoy the Rugby, and I have been going for the last forty years including to the even more lively party sevens in Hong Kong, but on no planet, certainly not Planet Rugby is it alright to behave like that. It is certainly NOT the essence of Rugby Sevens. It is possible to enjoy the party atmosphere, singing (even if it is a tad racist in relation to the French), dressing up, drinking and, just to be controversial, the actual Rugby and the tournament without being grossly offensive. If a rugby player steps out of line the ref takes action, and that is exactly what the RFU have done here. It isn’t down to a few spoilsport residents, it is down to a few binge drinking louts, and the imposition of common human decency

    • vigdis

      sevens girl – you said…
      “It seems such a shame to ruin the essence of the sevens just because the few disgruntled are louder than the many residents who really don’t care or even enjoy it!”

      So you “enjoy” cleaning other people’s bodily waste from your garden or doorstep? And think anyone who complains are “spoil sports”?

      “Inconvenience” is one thing – using someone’s garden as a sick-bowl or toilet is something else – in fact it’s a gross sense of entitlement and slobbish.