(NEW YORK, May 2, 2023) Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s), the highest professional level of rugby sevens in the United States, announced global rugby superstar Ruby Tui has signed with the league for the 2023 season. Tui will join one of the eight U.S.-based franchises to compete for the PR7s Championship. Featuring male and female players competing under one umbrella with equal pay, PR7s will bring five tournaments across America starting June 17.
Tui is one of rugby’s most significant international stars and captivating personalities, having led New Zealand at the highest levels in both rugby sevens and rugby fifteens. She won a gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo for the Black Ferns Sevens. Ruby inspired a global community during the 2021 Rugby World Cup in her home country, smashing attendance records for the sport. Before resuming her career in New Zealand with the Black Ferns, Tui aims to grow the game of rugby sevens in the U.S. through Premier Rugby Sevens.
“I’ve been a massive fan of Premier Rugby Sevens and what they’ve done for women’s rugby since they formed in 2021 in the United States,” said Tui. “To help grow our game around the world, especially in a place like the U.S., is an opportunity I take very seriously. PR7s has an awesome model for their competition, with equal pay and opportunity for men and women. And I’m absolutely buzzing to play some sevens again!”
“Having Ruby come and compete in Premier Rugby Sevens at the height of her playing career is an unprecedented historic moment for the sport of rugby and women’s sports across the United States,” said Owen Scannell, CEO of Premier Rugby Sevens. “Not only is Ruby a superstar on the field, but she is also one of the greatest ambassadors for rugby and most significant advocates for women’s sports globally. She has already captured the attention of millions of new fans around the world, and we can’t wait for her to join our efforts to build the game in the US.”
Ruby will compete for one of PR7s’ eight franchises, and an announcement will be made in the coming weeks. Each franchise will feature a men’s and a women’s team competing in their respective competitions.
In 2023, PR7s tournaments will bring the famous rugby sevens festival experience to Austin at Q2 Stadium for the Eastern Conference Kickoff (Saturday, June 17), Minneapolis at TCO Stadium for the Western Conference Kickoff (June 24, 2023), San Jose at PayPal Park for the Western Conference Finals (Saturday, July 15), and Pittsburgh at Highmark Stadium for the Eastern Conference Finals (Sunday, July 23). The top men’s and women’s teams from each conference will qualify for the 2023 Championship tournament, which will take place in Washington, D.C., at Audi Field on Sunday, Aug. 6. Tickets for each event are available at PRSevens.com/tickets.
Here is the PR7s conference breakdown:
- Texas Team
- New York Locals
- Southern Headliners
- Pittsburgh Steeltoes
- Northern Loonies
- SoCal Loggerheads
- Rocky Mountain Experts
- Golden State Retrievers
“On the field, Ruby is as dynamic an athlete as you can find,” said Mike Tolkin, General Manager of Premier Rugby Sevens. “She is a generational talent who joins world-class athletes at PR7s from other national teams, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Brazil, and South Africa.”
PR7s tournaments include eight 14-minute games, rotating between the men’s and women’s competitions on the same day. Each event will crown a men’s and women’s winner. The season-long competition will build towards the 2023 PR7s Championship, where one franchise will take home the 2023 PR7s United Championship – an unprecedented prize that combines the men’s and women’s results. Additionally, the last men’s team standing will take home the A. Jon Prusmack Cup, and the women’s prize is the Kathy Flores Cup, honoring two major pioneers in American rugby.
The tournaments will be available to watch via CBS Sports and FS1 in the United States. International broadcast deals will be announced at a later date.