Rugby tens

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, usually played as two ten-minute halves.

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 nation that has never qualified for the Rugby World Cup.[1]

The rules (law variations) are similar to rugby sevens and are published on the World Rugby website.[2]

Rugby tens
Canterbury Penguins
Canterbury (NZ) vs Penguins (UK) at COBRA 10s, 2008
Highest governing bodyWorld Rugby
NicknamesTens, Ten-a-side,
10's or 10s and Xs.
ContactFull Contact
Team membersTen
Mixed genderSeparate competitions
TypeTeam sport, outdoor, variant of rugby union


Rugby tens was introduced by the Combined Old Boys Rugby Association (COBRA) of Malaysia in 1967 primarily, to enable Asian players to better compete with against larger-sized players from the traditional rugby playing nations. COBRA organized the first Rugby ten-a-side, tournament, COBRA 10s, that same year. It has grown from a local tournament into a prestigious international tournament, with more than 40 nations have been represented to date. Many players who have participated in the COBRA 10s have gone on to don national colours.

The game is fairly popular in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Republic of Korea and Thailand, and especially in South Africa where it is growing very fast. Other tournaments have been organised in Europe, Africa, Australasia and North America.[3]

Features of the game

Unlike sevens rugby, tens offer players of diverse skills, capabilities and different fitness levels the opportunity to continue to enjoy the game they love so much. The more traditional scrums and lineouts are part of the game whilst the fact that there is a bit more space on the field, however not too much as to expose the slower forwards on the defensive lines, makes this a very popular game for all levels of players.


Major rugby tens tournaments include:

The popular Cape Town Tens attracts teams from all over the world to South Africa during the first week of February each year.[7]


  • Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1)
  1. ^ Bath, p 71
  2. ^ Tens law variations. World Rugby.
  3. ^ 10s Rugby Tournaments
  4. ^ Bath, p 29
  5. ^ HKFC Tens
  6. ^ Flanders Open Rugby Tournament [1]
  7. ^ Cape Town Tens

External links

Current tournaments

Former tournaments

2017 Brisbane Global Rugby Tens

The 2017 Brisbane Global Tens will be the inaugural Brisbane Global Tens rugby union tournament, with all five of New Zealand's Super Rugby teams, all four of Australia's Super Rugby teams contesting for the title as the core sides, while the Blue Bulls of South Africa, the Panasonic Wild Knights of Japan, Toulon of France, and Manu Samoa compete in the tournament's 2017 edition as invitational sides. The inaugural event will held at Suncorp Stadium. The draw was released on 16 November 2016. The prize money will be AU$1.6 million.The tournament was won by the Chiefs who defeated the Crusaders in the final 12-7.

Ben Breeze

Ben Breeze (born 8 April 1974, Exeter) is an English born rugby union player who represented England U21, Students and 7's, Wales 7's and Wales A. As a winger, he formally played his club rugby for the Exeter Chiefs (2006-2010) having joined from the Welsh regional team Newport Gwent Dragons (2003-2006) where he made 55 appearances. Breeze previously played for Bristol (1995-1999), and Newport RFC (1999-2003).

In 25 March 2016 coached and played for Rwanda at the GFI Rugby Tens in Hong Kong, technically making him a triple international.

Breeze now heads up Bristol Sport Foundation after reforming Bristol Rugby Community Foundation in 1996, restructuring it as a charity in 2010 and has won 9 All-Party Parliamentary Awards during that time.

Brisbane Global Rugby Tens

The Global 10s is a rugby tens tournament held during February each year in Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium. It is hosted by Duco Events and the Queensland Rugby Union. The inaugural tournament was held in 2017.

The Super Rugby teams from Australia and New Zealand take part in the tournament each year with other teams from around the world also invited. For the 2017 tournament, RC Toulonnais, Blue Bulls, Manu Samoa, and the Panasonic Wild Knights were invited.The teams compete for a grand prize of $250,000 AUD over two days, first playing in group stages before entering finals. Between 300 and 400 players attend each event. A 'legend wildcard', is allocated to each team allowing a former star player to join their match day squads.The tournament provides a small economic boost to Queensland through tourism and consumer spending.

COBRA Rugby Club of Malaysia

The COBRA RUGBY CLUB is a prominent rugby club in Malaysia under the Selangor Rugby Union and Malaysia Rugby Union. Over the years COBRA has produced many outstanding rugby players at the national and state level. Members of COBRA are also active and well represented in the Malaysian Rugby Union, Selangor Rugby Union and the Malaysian Rugby Referees’ Society.

It was originally known as the Combined Old Boys Rugby Association (COBRA).

COBRA Rugby Tens

COBRA 10s is the world's premier rugby tens tournament which is organized annually by the COBRA Rugby Club of Malaysia. The tournament is held each November at the MBPJ Stadium in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

The first COBRA 10s tournament was held in 1967. Today, 16 top teams from around the world compete for the coveted Hui Weng Chun Challenge Trophy and title as Tens champion.

HSBC Bank, a name globally recognised and synonymous with rugby had been the tournament's main sponsor from 2005 to 2012. Since 2013 COBRA has been organizing the tournament without a title sponsor but with the assistance two main sponsors; Carlsberg Marketing Malaysia and IJM Corporation Berhad. The club has also been supported by many other sponsors.

Guanggong International Cricket Stadium

The City Forex Stadium (Chinese: 广工板球场) is an international cricket stadium in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. It is used mostly for cricket and also for Australian football, rugby tens, rugby union and touch rugby. GZ United are the tenants of the stadium.

Stadium is located in the Guangdong University of Technology in the Higher Education Mega Centre and encompassing an area of 6355 m2, with seating for 12,000 spectators. The stadium hosted the first international-level cricket ever played in China.It has been granted by the International Cricket Council to host One Day International and Twenty20 cricket matches. It was established in 2010. It hosted the cricket matches played in the 2010 Asian Games. It also hosted the 2012 Women's Asia Cup Cricket tournament.

Work on the stadium started in May 2008. However, even until August 2009, the ground was little more than a flattened patch of mud. The ground now has a full-time Bangladeshi curator in Jasimuddin came in from the Kinrara Oval in Malaysia.

The ground was designed by Chinese architects with materials sourced from Guangdong Province, the wicket square using clay from Shaanxi Province in central China, the certified seed turf being imported by the Chinese Cricket Association from the United States.

Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center Central Stadium

The Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center Central Stadium (Chinese: 广州大学城体育中心; pinyin: Guǎngzhōu dàxuéchéng tǐyù zhōngxīn) is a stadium situated in the Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China. It is used mostly for association football, but also for athletics, rugby union and rugby sevens.

It held rugby and football events at the 2010 Asian Games. Starting from 2013, it also held the China Women's Sevens as part of the IRB Women's Sevens World Series. The stadium has a capacity of 39,346, making it the third largest stadium in Guangzhou, after Guangdong Olympic Stadium and Tianhe Stadium. The Guangzhou Rams rugby tens team sometimes use the venue for their big games.

Luke Romano

Luke Romano (born 16 February 1986) is a New Zealand rugby union footballer who plays as a lock for the Crusaders in Super Rugby and Canterbury in the Mitre 10 Cup. He played for the All Blacks from 2012 - 2017 and was a key member of 2015 Rugby World Cup winning team.

Manila 10s

The Manila 10s is an annual men's rugby union tournament featuring a variant of rugby union popular in Southeast Asia called Rugby tens organized annually by Nomad Sports Club in Parañaque, Manila. The tournament is held one week before Hong Kong Sevens every year, allowing clubs from around the world to participate in the tournament prior to watching Hong Kong Sevens. Manila 10s features 4 divisions of varying skill levels (Cup, Plate, Bowl, and Shield) as well as a veteran's division for teams featuring only players over-35.

While the tournament is technically an amateur tournament the cup division often features ex-professional or internationally capped players such as former Welsh Captain Colin Charvis, former Australian Captain Jeremy Paul, world cup winner Joel Stransky and former British Lion John Bentley, featuring as 'guest' players for the tournament. The oldest player in the Manila 10's was 66 year old Don Anderson, playing for the Extinct Volcanoes in the 2019 tournament. The tournament draws most of the major amateur clubs in Asia such as the Shanghai Hairy Crabs, Seoul Survivors, Tokyo Gaijin, Taipei Baboons, and Hong Kong Football Club as well as teams from further abroad such as British Royal Gurkha Rifles Battalion's 'The Flying Kukris' rugby football club, who have been regular participants in the tournament since its creation.

The 2011 cup division was won by JML Welsh Warriors, an inaugural entry into the competition, who featured former Welsh Captain and British Lions player Colin Charvis as their guest player.

Milnerton High School

Milnerton High School is a state school in the suburb of Milnerton in Cape Town, South Africa. It was founded in 1959.

Nine-a-side footy

Nine-a-side football is a sport based on Australian rules football played informally by Aussie rules clubs but not yet an official sport in its own right.

9-a-side games are sometimes played on half size fields that are typically rectangular or more commonly rugby fields, with 9 players on the field at any one time, typically consisting of 3 forwards, 3 backs and 3 centre players. Often two games are played at the same time on a single Australian Rules or cricket pitch. Other times, 9-a-side makes use of the full space of the field when a full complement of players is not available. This variety is a more open, running variety of Australian rules.

Penguin International RFC

The Penguin International Rugby Football Club, usually called the Penguins, is an invitational rugby union team based in Britain but with international players. It was founded in 1959 and has played in 71 countries, claiming to be the most travelled sports club in the world. The motto is "On court le ballon à la main" (One runs with the ball in hand).There is also a charity, The Penguin International Rugby Football Trust, registered with the UK Charity Commission under Charity No 1081047, founded 1999, to promote the training of young people in Rugby throughout the world, and which is active in 17 countries apart from the UK.It has annual matches against the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The 1988 one against Oxford was in memory of Peter Robbins, an alumnus.The club plays teams of 7, 10 and 15 players. They first visited Asia with a tour of Sri Lanka in 1979, later doing well in the Hong Kong Sevens and winning the SCC International Sevens in Singapore in 2010. They have won the COBRA Rugby Tens in Kuala Lumpur six times. They won the Hong Kong Tens in 2013 and 2016.

Polish Rugby Union

Polish Rugby Union (Polish: Polski Związek Rugby), abbreviated to PZR, is the only legal Polish representative of Polish rugby union and rugby sevens for both men and women's rugby and all age groups. Poland does have an amateur rugby league national team, however there are no teams playing this form of rugby in Poland and therefore there is no governing body for rugby league.

Rugby union in Macau

Rugby union is a minor sport in Macau.

Macau has a national side, which competes in international competitions, and there is also Macau Rugby Club, which takes part in various Seniors (adult) competitions [1]. Macau also has a Junior (children's) club, called the Macau Bats Rugby Club, which competes in regional/international tournaments. Beach rugby and rugby tens tournaments have been held in the territory, and the game benefits from rugby's much stronger presence in neighbouring Hong Kong.

A representative national Women's side played in the classification stages of the 2004 Hong Kong Women's Sevens.

Rugby union in Malaysia

Rugby union in Malaysia is a sport with a long history, and a significant participation. There are 41,050 registered players, and the country is currently ranked 47th. There are sixteen unions, associations and councils affiliated to the Malaysian Rugby Union, more than 300 clubs, and 600 schools which teach the game. Malaysian rugby's most notable contribution to the game at large is the invention of rugby tens.

World Club 10s

World Club 10s is a rugby union tournament played under rugby tens rules, and contested by professional clubs from around the world. Top-level teams from Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania, have played in the tournament since the first edition in 2014.

Zahara Temara

Zahara Temara is an Australian international rugby league player who debuted as a 5/8 for the Australian Jillaroos against the kiwi ferns 5 May 2017. She scored a try on debut. Zahara went on tour with the Jillaroos rugby league team to PNG playing in the first ever womans rugby league match with that nation.

Zahara scored 3 tries (Hat trick) vs Canada at the Rugby League World Cup 2017 where she played in the centre position. Zahara played a utility role in the World Cup final coming off the bench as a forward securing a memorable win against the kiwi ferns at Brisbanes Suncorp stadium, 2 December 2017.

Early years: Zahara immigrated from NZ in 2007 and played her early junior club league football for the Nerang Roosters. She played her junior football with the boys until she turned 12 and went on the play for Nerang Roosters girls. They went on the make the final but were comprehensively beaten in the final by Tweed Heads Seagulls. Thereafter the Roosters went on to win back-to-back U15 and U16 titles against Logan Brothers. She attended Worongary Primary School and to Keebra Park State High School later on.

Zahara played for the Nerang Rooster U18 girls team and played in the Burleigh Women's Rugby league women's team at the same time after turning 17. Whilst the Nerang roosters made the final, they were beaten by Aspley Rugby League Club. In her first year in the Burleigh women's team, they went on the make the semifinals but were knocked out by Beerwah Rugby League Club, where she played fullback. The next year Zahara played rugby union for Helensvale Rugby team, where they went on to make the semifinals, only to knocked out by a committed Redland Bay team. She continued to play rugby league in the same season where they played Souths Magpies. South Magpies were undefeated all season and had soundly beaten the bears during the regular season. That all changed in the final, where the Burleigh Bears managed to win their first premiership title. The Bears went on to win another 2 premierships thereafter (3 peat).

Cross code: Zahara had previously played 3 seasons for the Helensvale Hogs RUC rugby rugby women's team securing representative honours with the Queensland Reds each year. Zahara continued to play Rugby League for the Burleigh Bears sometimes playing 2 games back to back on the same day. The Burleigh Bears won 3 consecutive premiership titles and was named player of the final in 2017. That same year she was selected in the Queensland women's rugby league team against New South Wales women's rugby league team. They were beaten by a well drilled NSW team in Wollongong.

In 2018 Zahara was selected to play for the Queensland Reds in the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens tournament. She played as the starting 5/8 after pool play went onto play New South Wales Waratahs in the final. The Queensland Reds went on to win the final and were crowned winners of the Brisbane Global rugby Tens. Later that year she unable to commit to rugby union due to the ongoing semi professional Rugby League commitments. Despite this she managed to play two games. One against WA as a reserve where they overcame a 20-point second half deficit to beat WA by 2 points.

The Queensland Reds went on to play NSW in the first inaugural Super W rugby union final. Zahara started in the final but in extra time NSW prevailed winning via a penalty goal in extra time.In June 2018, Temara was announced as one of fifteen marquee signings by the Sydney Roosters women's team which will participate in the inaugural NRL Women's Premiership in September 2018.

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