Schools’ rugby sevens heaven should be taken much more seriously | Robert Kitson

Many greats, including Gareth Edwards and Will Carling, have played in the Rosslyn Park National Sevens and skills acquired here can be priceless in top-level XVs

Everyone in Mumbai knows about the Oval Maidan where 100 games of cricket can take place simultaneously. Football’s nearest equivalent used to be Hackney Marshes where, during the 1950s and 1960s, 120 pitches would cater for 2,500 players every Sunday morning. And rugby? Look no further than the Rosslyn Park National Schools Sevens taking place in south-west London this week.

Over the coming days the world’s largest schools sevens tournament will play host to no fewer than 9,624 participants aged 13 to 18 and 800 teams, including representatives from Pakistan (the splendidly named Angels International College, Faisalabad), Dubai, Kenya, Lebanon and Canada. The tournament, now in its 80th year, has spawned countless future internationals and created lasting memories for even more. Head south down the A3 past Robin Hood Gate and, stretching way into the distance, you will find boys and girls living out their dreams in real time.

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