RugbyX draw: Baa-baas face England and Ireland


The Barbarians men’s side will take on England and Ireland in the pool stage of the inaugural RugbyX tournament at the O2 in London on October 29.

The new short-format, full contact version of rugby union was approved by World Rugby’s Executive Committee earlier this year and will be played on a 55m x 32m artificial grass pitch, installed on a temporary basis inside the world’s most popular music and entertainment arena.

Participating teams have been drawn from the leading nations competing in HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series while the Baa-baas set to bring together some of the biggest stars in the sevens format in a multinational line-up.

Group A consists of England, Ireland and the Barbarians, while France, the USA and Argentina will contest Group B. The women’s competition features England, France, the USA and Ireland.

The group stages and women’s Semi Finals will take place during the 4pm-6pm afternoon session, with the 8.30pm-10.30pm evening session featuring Men’s quarter-sinals and semi-finals, the women’s third-place place match, and the men’s and Women’s finals.

Fans can expect to see the likes of England’s Dan Norton, Olympic silver medallist and all-time leading try scorer in sevens along with the likes of France’s charismatic captain Terry Bouhraoua and the USA’s double world player of the year Perry Baker. The Baa-baas will name their squad in the coming weeks.


The core fundamentals of full contact rugby are being retained but variations of certain laws have been approved in order to encourage fast and skilful gameplay in an arena environment. There will be quick-tap restarts on the goal-line and no conversions. Line-outs will be replaced by a quick throw from the team in possession and matches will last 10 minutes with no half-time. 

Drawn matches will be settled by a one-on-one tie-breaker — reminiscent of the Olympic hockey shoot-out that saw Great Britain beat the Netherlands in Rio.

World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said: “The sanctioning of RugbyX marks an exciting step on World Rugby’s journey towards making the sport more accessible, providing an important entry point for new audiences to experience the joy, speed and skill of rugby in an indoor arena environment. 

“Innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any sport and RugbyX presents a great opportunity to capitalise on increasing global interest in the days immediately preceding the Rugby World Cup final in Japan.” 

Tickets are available for afternoon (16:00-18:00) & evening (20:30-22:30) sessions via Ticketmaster and AXS