In late April 2018 (22 – 28 April 2018) Australia is hosting the first major international Deaf rugby event for more than fifteen years.  It will be the biggest Deaf Rugby 7’s tournament the world has seen and will include Men’s and Women’s International, Australian and Barbarians Rugby 7’s teams.
The event will conclude with the staging one or more International Deaf Rugby 15’s Tests.

It is an official World Deaf Rugby event – the first ever World Deaf Rugby 7’s competition anywhere in the world. 

 The event will provide a vehicle for showcasing and promoting Deaf rugby, raising its profile within the Deaf and rugby communities worldwide and encouraging wider participation, with the ultimate aim of growing the sport in Australia and across the world.
In addition to the Men’s & Women’s Rugby 7’s Tournaments and one or more International Rugby 15’s Tests, there will be a comprehensive Social Program for players, officials, spectators, volunteers and visitors including:

  • Opening Welcome Party at Wanda Surf Life Saving Club (22 April 2018)
  • Daily Post-match get-togethers (23, 24, 26 & 27 April 2018)
  • Post 15’s Test Evening BBQ (27 April 2018)
  • Closing Presentation Harbour Cruise (28 April 2018)

Planning for the World Deaf Rugby 7’s Australia 2018 tournament started in early December 2016.  It is being entirely managed, organised and run by volunteers, with some Australian Deaf Rugby Union (ADRU) Board members (plus Joe Reed) forming the core Event Team and other ADRU Board members also contributing.

The World Deaf Rugby 7’s Australia 2018 tournament is an event for everyone –national Deaf rugby teams, individual Deaf rugby players, officials, spectators, volunteers & visitors.

Not all countries can afford to send full National teams and not everyone who wants to play might be selected in their National Team.  So in contrast to past planned Deaf Rugby World Championships, both National teams and Individual players can participate in the tournament.

Individual players from any country can register and be included in a Barbarian team giving them a unique opportunity to be part of this major international eventIt also means that there will be more teams competing which is good for everyone.


The World Deaf Rugby 7’s Australia 2018 tournament is attracting widespread interest and generating great excitement amongst Deaf rugby communities across the globe, with many countries and individuals expressing strong support for the event and an intention to participate.
Hundreds of emails and text messages have been exchanged with interested teams and individuals from around the world including from Wales, England, Italy, South Africa, Kenya, Hong Kong, Japan, Argentina, Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia.
Though there is never absolute certainty, there may be up to fifteen(15) Men’s 7’s Teams and up to seven(7) Women’s 7’s Teams – i.e.

Likely/Possible Deaf Men’s 7’s Teams

  • Australia
  • Australian Barbarians
  • Australia A
  • England
  • Wales
  • Welsh Barbarians
  • Japan
  • Fiji
  • New Zealand
  • New Zealand Maori
  • Argentina
  • South Africa
  • Kenya
  • World Barbarians
  • Australian Indigenous

Likely/Possible Deaf Women’s 7’s Teams

  • Australia
  • Australian Barbarians
  • England
  • Fiji
  • New Zealand
  • World Barbarians
  • Australian Indigenous

International Deaf Rugby 15’s Test(s)

The World Deaf Rugby 7’s Australia 2018 tournament is basically a Rugby 7’s event, but it was always envisaged that some countries might bring enough players to also compete in one or more International Deaf Rugby 15’s Tests.  This is happening, with Wales bringing two men’s Deaf Rugby 7’s teams and keen to play an International 15’s Test against Australia.

Should other countries also wish to bring a full 15’s Team, further Tests could be organised.


The Rugby 7’s tournaments and Australia – Wales Deaf Rugby 15’s Test will all take place at the David Phillips Fields, University of New South Wales as follows:

  • Deaf Rugby 7’s Competition23, 24 and, possibly, 26 April 2018 (daytime)
  • Australia vs Wales Deaf Rugby 15’s Test – 27 April 2018 (early evening)

Wednesday, 25 April 2018 is a major national holiday in Australia (ANZAC Day), so it will be a free day for tourist activities.

An informal Opening Welcome Party will be held at the Wanda Surf Lifesaving Club on Sunday, 22 April 2018, with a more formal Closing Presentation Celebration Harbour Cruise being scheduled for Saturday, 28 April 2018.


The Tournament and Social Program will be open to everyone – players, officials, spectators, volunteers, and visitors.  Arrangements for Tournament spectators and Social Program events are as follows:

  • Spectators will be asked to pay $10 ($5 Concession and children between the ages of 12 & 17) for entry on each day of the Tournament (Coaches, Officials, Event Organisers, Volunteers, Support Staff and Registered Players will be free)
  • All Attendees (other than Coaches & Registered Players) will be asked to pay $10 ($5 Concession and children between the ages of 12 & 17) for entry to each of the Opening Welcome Party and the Closing Presentation Celebration

All participants at both the Tournament and Social Program Events will need to pay for their own food and drinks at the venue/event.

Tournament & Social Program Event tickets will be available for purchase at the gate/door, but it is very important for the organisers to have information about of likely attendee numbers for catering and other purposes.  There might also be venue space/number limitations.

So everyone is strongly urged to BOOK TICKETS as soon as possible by contacting the Event Coordinator – johannaplante@gmail.com.


The workload of the Event Coordinator, Event Team, and ADRU Board has been huge and will inevitably ramp up even further in the final four months before the tournament.

On top of that, a number of additional “games time” volunteers (including interpreters) will be needed to a help out during the actual tournament in areas such as:

  • Venue entry, catering & general operations
  • Assistance to Players, Officials & Spectators
  • Administrative support to Event Organisers
  • Sports Program operations/logistic support
  • Social Program operations/logistic support

Anyone interested in VOLUNTEERING should contact the Event Coordinatorjohannaplante@gmail.com