June marks a thrilling month for Rugby 7s, with Finnland’s national team, The Northern Storm, competing fiercely on the international stage. We are proud sponsors of the team and had the pleasure of sitting down with Ida and Essi, two players, to discuss their the game of rugby, their journey and goals, and experience with our innovative AAVA Armoured Sports Bra.


The Thrilling World of Rugby 7s


Rugby 7s - what looks chaotic is a fast, explosive, exhilarating and creative game. While most people have heard of traditional rugby or rugby 15s, not everyone might know the game variant of rugby 7s. As the numbers indicate, Rugby 7s is played with smaller team sizes, fielding seven players instead of 15. But that is just one of the many differences.

Ruby7s matches consist of two halves of seven minutes each, with a one-minute halftime break, vs. two halves of forty minutes each, with a ten-minute halftime break in Rugby 15s matches. If you think this might make the game easier, you are wrong. Both versions of rugby have the same field size, but the pitch is populated with fewer athletes in rugby 7s matches, which results in a very different game. Compared to the more structured nature of Rugby 15s, Rugby 7s emphasises speed, agility, and quick transitions. The fewer players and shorter duration result in a faster, high-scoring game. Athletes need to be highly fit and versatile. Dive deeper into the details here: www.svns.com/explained-player-positions-in-rugby-sevens


Inside the Game: Insights from Finnish Rugby 7s Players

Nordic Cup 2024, Finland vs. Norway: Essi wants to carry the ball in a direction Norway disagrees with. © Marko Niemelä


As a self-proclaimed Forward player by heart, the gameplay that gets Essi most excited is ”a beautiful team try”, but she can also get pretty thrilled about finely executed defence play “at the beginning of the game, if we kick the ball to the opposite team, chasing the ball and tackling the person with the ball is good. Starts the game right.” Like Essi, Ida enjoys being part of gameplays in which teamwork beautifully unfolds: “I love the game when you succeed in playing the ball from sideline to sideline, breaking the gain line every time while stretching the defence and eventually scoring.” When asked about her favourite part of being a Back player, she answers, “Having to read the game and the decision-making!

And that is the beauty and appeal of Rugby 7s—the decreased number of players means that athletes who play the same field size can be more versatile, often covering multiple roles, while still playing a highly tactical game with quick transitions.


Balancing Training and Life: The Commitment of National Rugby Team Players


The game demands a great deal of the players, especially when they are competing on a national team. Essi and Ida balance commitments to their home and national teams with day jobs. Ida trains at Vaasa Rugby Club (www.instagram.com/vaasafoxes) and plays for Tampere Rugby Club (www.tampererugby.fi) and the Finnish National 7s Team (www.instagram.com/finrugby7s). Essi trains and plays for Helsinki Rugby Club (www.clubee.com/helsinkirc) and the 7s and 15s Finnish National Team (www.instagram.com/finrugby15s).


Nordic Cup 2024, Finland vs. Denmark: Ida strongly disagrees with Denmark's plans. © Marko Niemelä


To maintain the required skill and fitness level and prevent injuries, both participate in six to eight weekly training sessions, which do not include gamedays. Essi explains:” Training week contains the two gym sessions and two to three running sessions, orchestrated by our coach Bam Hennessy and 2-3 rugby training sessions. Plus, in the summer, basically every weekend, we have one 15’s-rugby game per week.

Continuous personal, team, and game development, as well as their passion for Rugby and the fun it brings them, fuels both Ida and Essi. Describing the Finnish National 7s Rugby Team as laid-back, communal, and supportive, both athletes cherish the camaraderie and shared experiences. Essi fondly recalls the atmosphere at the European Championship tournaments, while Ida values the team’s collective spirit and resilience.


AAVA Armoured Sports Bra: Enhancing Performance and Comfort for Finland’s best


Protected by AUAU Athletics®: Ida Herrgård in the AAVA Armoured Sports Bra ©Paulo Pannuzzo


We are proud that the AAVA Armoured Sports Bra has become integral to these dedicated athletes' training and match routines. Both appreciate its comfort, durability, and protective features. Ida highlights its comfort and effectiveness, comparing it to her favourite unarmoured sports bras favourably. Essi values its material and protection, noting a significant reduction in upper body bruises.

In the past years, Essi and Ida have witnessed the sport’s evolution, with games becoming tougher and the level of play continuously rising. AAVA is an effective piece of equipment that prevents bruising and helps players maintain their performance, even throughout a Rugby 7s tournament weekend, which hosts multiple games for all teams.

In this setting, athletes must prevent bruising and injuries to stay on their game and perform at their peak level without discomfort. While Rugby 7s allows for five substitutions out of a squad of twelve players, these substitutions enable teams to maintain a high intensity throughout the short match duration.


Protected by AUAU Athletics®: Essi Kara in the AAVA Armoured Sports Bra ©Paulo Pannuzzo


Achievements of The Northern Storm in the Nordic Cup 2024

Ida and Essi’s journey in rugby exemplifies the passion, dedication, and resilience required to excel in the sport. Their experience with the AAVA Armoured Sports Bra highlights its role in enhancing their performance and safety on the field. As they continue to break barriers and achieve new heights, we are proud to support these incredible athletes and their pursuit of excellence.

The team and Coach Hennessy's hard work has paid off this season. The Northern Storm won four of their six games played during the first leg of the Nordic Cup on May 11th and 12th in Copenhagen, Denmark, and all six games played during the second leg of the Nordic Cup on June 1st and 2nd in Helsinki, Finland. They are off to Zagreb, Croatia, to play the first of two European Championships this weekend, June 16th. The second one takes play in Budapest, Hungary, on the 7th of July.

If you are into fast-paced, full-contact team sports, you can follow the games on Rugby Europe’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/@RugbyEuropeOfficial) or rugbyeurope.tv.


Want to upgrade your gear?

Check out the AAVA Armoured Sports Bra today and use the code “Storm10” during checkout to receive a 10% discount. Codes are limited! First come, first served!