Rugby tens

Rugby tens

Canterbury (NZ) vs Penguins (UK) at COBRA 10s, 2008
Highest governing body World Rugby
Nicknames Tens, Ten-a-side,
10's or 10s and Xs.
Contact Full Contact
Team members Ten
Mixed gender Separate competitions
Type Team sport, outdoor, variant of rugby union
Not to be confused with Ten man rugby.

Rugby tens, also known as ten-a-side and Xs, is a variant of rugby union in which teams are made up of ten players, typically five forwards and five backs. Matches are much shorter, often of two ten-minute halves.

The rules are similar to rugby sevens, with the IRB publishing the tens Variations in 2012.[1]

The game is fairly popular in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Republic of Korea and Thailand, and is growing elsewhere.

Unlike the other two major rugby union variants - sevens and beach rugby - which were invented in major rugby nations, rugby tens was developed in Malaysia, a Tier-3 rugby playing nation that has never qualified for the Rugby World Cup.[2]

Major rugby tens tournaments include the COBRA Rugby Tens (since 1967), the Hong Kong Football Club Tens (since 1986),[3][4] Brisbane Global Rugby Tens and the World Club 10s. Other regular tournaments include the Cape Town Tens, first held in 2009.[5]

Influence of rugby sevens

The main origin of rugby tens is perhaps the abbreviated code of rugby sevens which originated in the Scottish Borders, and was very successfully exported to produce the Hong Kong Sevens, where it still runs, and is a great missionary force for rugby in Asia. There is also a Singapore Sevens tournament in the region.

Unlike rugby sevens, which has established a substantial presence on every continent, tens is still largely confined to its region of origin, South East Asia, although tournaments have been organised in Europe, Africa, Australasia and North America.[6]


  2. Bath, p71
  3. Bath, p29
  4. HKFC Tens
  5. Cape Town Tens
  6. 10s Rugby Tournaments

Current tournaments

Former tournaments

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