2008 European Sevens Championship

The 2008 European Sevens Championship was a rugby sevens competition, with the final held in Hanover, Germany. It was the seventh edition of the European Sevens championship and also functioned as a qualifying tournament for the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens. The event was organised by rugby's European governing body, the FIRA – Association of European Rugby (FIRA-AER).

2008 European Sevens Championship
Hannover Sevens 2008.jpg
Tournament details
Host nation GER
DatesJuly 12 – July 13
No. of nations12
Champions Gold medal blank.svg Portugal
Tournament statistics
Matches played42
Top scorer(s)Portugal Pedro Leal


The finals tournament held in Hanover, Germany on 12 and 13 July 2008, as well as being the European Sevens Championship, functioned as a qualifying tournament for the world cup. England, France and Scotland had already qualified through their past performance.[1] The five best nations out of the twelve participating ones qualified for the Dubai tournament. Teams finished in the following order:[2]

Place Country
1st   Portugal
2nd   Wales
3rd   Georgia
4th   Ireland
5th   Italy
6th   Spain
7th   Germany
8th   Ukraine
9th   Russia
10th   Romania
11th   Poland
12th   Belgium


On 16 June 2007, the FIRA congress in Monaco decided to award the finals tournament to Hanover, beating bids from Russia, Greece and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the process.[3]

Tournament historyEdit

From 2002, FIRA, the governing body of European rugby, has been organising an annual European Sevens Championship tournament. A number of qualifying tournaments lead up to a finals tournament, which functions as the European championship and, in 2008, also as the qualifying stage for the Sevens World Cup.[4]

The first European Championship was held in 2002 in Heidelberg, Germany, and was won by Portugal, the team that won every championship since except 2007, when Russia won.

The next year, the tournament was again held in Heidelberg and in 2004, Palma de Mallorca, Spain was the host.

From 2005 to 2007, Moscow was the host of the tournament.

Hanover held the tournament for the first time in 2008 and will do so again in 2009.



The finals tournament was held at the AWD-Arena in Hanover, home ground of the football club Hannover 96. The stadium holds 50.000 spectators, 43,000 of them on seats, the rest standing.[5]

The tournament was seen by over 30,000 spectators, a good turn out in a country like Germany, where rugby is not a mainstream sport.[6] After selling more than 35,000 tickets in advance, mostly within Germany, the organisers were forced to open up the upper tier of the stadium to meet demand.[7]


Twelve teams qualified through the seven qualifying tournaments, held at the following locations:

Location Country Date Winner Runner-up
Odense Denmark 10–11 May   Wales   Ireland
Sopot Poland 24–25 May   Ireland   Poland
Zagreb Croatia 31 May-1 June   Italy   Germany
Tbilisi Georgia 7–8 June   Wales   Ukraine
Ostrava Czech Republic 14–15 June   Portugal   Spain
Corfu Greece 20–21 June   Spain   Russia
Moscow Russia 28–29 June   Portugal   Russia

Source:"Qualifying". Hanover Sevens website. Retrieved 2009-01-25.

Group stageEdit

The tournament was divided into a group and a finals stage. In the group stage, two groups of six teams were drawn. Within each group, each team played each other once. The top two teams went to the Cup stage of the tournament while the third and fourth placed team qualified for the Plate stage. Five and six went to the Bowl finals.

Qualified for the Cup stage
Qualified for the Plate stage
Qualified for the Bowl stage

Group AEdit

Portugal 26–10 28–5 14–12 45–5 38–0
Georgia 28–5 26–0 5–0 12–0
Spain 26–22 7–29 14–0
Germany 17–12 24–21
Russia 19–19
Team Pld W D L PF PA +/- Pts
  Portugal 5 5 0 0 151 32 +119 15
  Georgia 5 4 0 1 81 31 +50 13
  Spain 5 2 0 3 57 107 -50 9
  Germany 5 2 0 3 75 99 -24 9
  Russia 5 1 1 3 74 100 -26 8
  Romania 5 0 1 4 31 100 -69 6

Group BEdit

Wales 26–14 33–12 21–17 38–7 33–12
Ireland 17–12 26–7 17–7 31–0
Italy 31–15 40–0 17–10
Ukraine 21–14 22–12
Poland 21–19
Team Pld W D L PF PA +/- Pts
  Wales 5 5 0 0 151 64 +87 15
  Ireland 5 4 0 1 105 52 +53 13
  Italy 5 3 0 2 114 75 +39 11
  Ukraine 5 2 0 3 84 104 -20 9
  Poland 5 1 0 4 49 135 -86 7
  Belgium 5 0 0 5 53 124 -71 5


Three separate rounds of finals were held, Bowl, the lowest, Plate and Cup. The semi final winners of each group went on to the final while the losers played each other. All teams from the Cup stage were qualified for the next sevens world cup and also the Plate winner.


Winner: Russia

3rd place


Winner: Italy (qualified for the 2009 Sevens world cup)

3rd place


Winner: Portugal (all four teams qualified for the 2009 Sevens world cup)

3rd place

Top point scorersEdit

Points Name Team Tries Con Pen Drop
74 Pedro Leal   Portugal 6 22 0 0
52 Merab Kvirikashvili   Georgia 6 11 0 0
45 Martin Roberts   Wales 5 10 0 0
38 Ian Keatley   Ireland 4 9 0 0
36 Mustafa Güngör   Germany 4 8 0 0
35 Oleh Kvasnytsya   Ukraine 7 0 0 0
31 Andrew Maxwell   Ireland 5 3 0 0
31 Alexander Gvozdovskiy   Russia 3 8 0 0
30 Juan Cano   Spain 6 0 0 0
29 César Sempere   Spain 3 7 0 0
28 Matthieu Franke   Germany 4 4 0 0

Key: Con = conversions; Pen = penalties; Drop = drop goals



Head coach: Neil Massinon

Manager: Thierry Massinon

Player Club
Mathieu Verschelden   ASUB Waterloo
Alexandre Van Pestel   R.S.C. Anderlecht
Johann Bombaerts   ROC Ottignies
Jérémy Maes   ASUB Waterloo
Kevin Williams   Seapoint
David Nemsadze   Domont
Morgan Croisy   ASUB Waterloo
Jérôme Cauwe   ASUB Waterloo
Simon Marote   Arras
Neil Massinon   Brussels Barbarians
Jerôme Bize   Tours

Source:"Team Belgium". Hanover Sevens website. Archived from the original on 2008-08-09. Retrieved 2009-01-26.


Head coach: Kakhaber Alania

Player Club
Shalva Sutiashvili   AC Bobigny 93 Rugby
Simon Maisuradze   ASM Clermont Auvergne
Giorgi Chkhaidze   Massy
Bidzina Samkharadze   FC Farul Constanţa
Merab Kvirikashvili   Section Paloise
Alexander Todua   Lelo
Giorgi Shkinini   Hooligana
Jaba Bregvadze   Kochebi
Lasha Khmaladze   Lelo
Alexander Nizharadze   Kochebi
Beka Tsiklauri
Irakli Gundishvili   Périgueux

Source:"Team Georgia". Hanover Sevens website. Retrieved 2009-01-26.


Head coach:   Lofty Stevenson

Player Club
Franck Moutsinga   Berliner RC
Mustafa Güngör   RG Heidelberg
Tim Kasten   Southend RFC
Markus Walger   RK Heusenstamm
Clemens von Grumbkow   RC Orléans
Christopher Weselek   RG Heidelberg
Matthieu Franke   RC Orléans
Alexander Pipa   TSV Handschuhsheim
Benjamin Simm   DSV 78/08 Ricklingen
Mike Härtel   TSV Victoria Linden
Stefan Kunde   SC 1880 Frankfurt
Benjamin Krause   DSV 78/08 Ricklingen

Source:"Team Germany". Hanover Sevens website. Retrieved 2009-01-26.[permanent dead link]


Head coach: Jon Skurr

Player Club
Cian Aherne   Leinster
Richard Briggs   Esher RFC
Kieran Campbell   Connacht
Darren Cave   Ulster
James Coughlan   Munster
Eoghan Grace
Chris Henry   Ulster
Ian Keatley   Connacht
Seamus Mallon   Ulster
Conor McPhillips   Connacht
Andrew Maxwell   Edinburgh
Brian Tuohy   Cornish Pirates

Source:"Team Ireland". Hanover Sevens website. Retrieved 2009-01-26.


Head coach:

Player Club
Kris Burton   RC Orléans
Benjamin De Jager   Benetton Treviso
Gabriele Gentile   Unione Rugby Capitolina
Alvaro Lopez-Gonzalez   Petrarca Padova Rugby
Antonio Mannato   Gran Parma Rugby
Roberto Mariani   Rugby Viadana
Alessandro Onori   Gran Parma Rugby
Davide Pastormerlo   Rugby Rovigo
Tomas Pucciariello   Rouen
Michele Sepe   Unione Rugby Capitolina
Marko Stanojevic   Rugby Calvisano
Benjamin Tomaghelli   US Rugby Brescia

Source:"Team Italy". Hanover Sevens website. Retrieved 2009-01-26.


Head coach:

Player Club
Tomasz Grodecki   Budowlani Łódź
Maciej Maciejewski   Budowlani Łódź
Artur Maros   Budowlani Łódź
Tomasz Kozakiewicz   Budowlani Łódź
Rafał Janeczko   Folc AZS Warszawa
Wojciech Łukasiewicz   Folc AZS Warszawa
Jakub Lisiewski   Folc AZS Warszawa
Mariusz Motyl   Arka Gdynia
Marek Płonka   Lechia Gdańsk
Patryk Narwojsz   Czarni Pruszcz Gdański
Dawid Banaszek   CS Bourgoin-Jallieu
Donald Gargasson   ASM Clermont Auvergne

Source:"Team Poland". Hanover Sevens website. Retrieved 2009-01-26.


Head coach:   Tomaz Morais

Player Club
Aderito Esteves
David Mateus   C.F. Os Belenenses
Goncalo Foro
Vasco Uva   Montpellier Hérault RC
Pedro Silva
Pedro Leal
Antonio Pinto
Diogo Mateus   C.F. Os Belenenses
Frederico Oliveira
Pedro Cabral   CDUL
Sebastiao Cunha
Antonio Aguilar

Source:"Team Portugal". Hanover Sevens website. Retrieved 2009-01-26.


Head coach:

Player Club
Carl Cimpoias   Henley Hawks
Florin Vlaicu   Steaua Bucuresti
Bogdan Bradu   RC Timișoara
Florin Surugiu   Olimpia Bucuresti
Andrei Filip   Dinamo București
Ionut Florea   FC Farul Constanta
Madalin Lemnaru   RC Brasov
Viorel Lucaci   U. Baia Mare
Valentin Ivan   Dinamo București
Marian Dumitru   FC Farul Constanta
Daniel Nainer   Steaua Bucuresti
Razvan Suteu   Grivita Bucuresti

Source:"Team Romania". Hanover Sevens website. Retrieved 2009-01-26.


Head coach:   Claude Saurel

Player Club
Evgeny Bystryakov "Slava" Moscow
Igor Galinovskiy "Krasniy Yar" Krasnoyarsk
Andrey Kuzin "VVA-Podmoskovje" Moscow region
Andrey Garbuzov "Krasniy Yar" Krasnoyarsk
Evgeny Matveev "VVA-Podmoskovje" Moscow region
Alexey Panasenko "VVA-Podmoskovje" Moscow region
Yuri Kushnarev "VVA-Podmoskovje" Moscow region
Alexander Shakirov "VVA-Podmoskovje" Moscow region
Alexander Gvozdovskiy "Krasniy Yar" Krasnoyarsk
Oleg Kobzev "VVA-Podmoskovje" Moscow region
Victor Gresev "VVA-Podmoskovje" Moscow region
Sergey Gavryushin "VVA-Podmoskovje" Moscow region

Source:"Team Russia". Hanover Sevens website. Retrieved 2009-01-26.


Head coach: José Ignacio Inchausti

Player Club
Jaime Nava   Club Alcobendas Rugby
Diego Á. Gorosito   Valladolid RAC
Rafael Camacho   CAR Inés Rosales
Juan Cano   CR Cisneros
Javier Canosa   CRC Madrid Noroeste
Pablo Feijoo   Leicester Tigers
Sergi Guerrero   UE Santboiana
Facundo Lavino   CRC Madrid Noroeste
Víctor Marlet   UE Santboiana
Ignacio Martín   Bera Bera RT
Pedro Martín   Valladolid RAC
Cesar Sempere   CRC Madrid Noroeste

Source:"Team Spain". Hanover Sevens website. Retrieved 2009-01-26.


Head coach: Michel Bishop

Player Club
Ruslan Tserkovnyy   Kredo-63 Odessa
Vitaly Orlov   Enisey-STM
Maksim Kravchenko   Olimp Kharkov
Sergey Tserkovnyy   Olimp Kharkov
George Gegidze   Kredo-63 Odessa
Oleg Kvasnitsa   Obolon-Universitet Khmelnitskiy
Jaba Malaguradze   Kredo-63 Odessa
Vyacheslav Ponamorenko   Olimp Kharkov
Alexandr Lubyy   Olimp Kharkov
Giorgi Todradze   Kredo-63 Odessa
Bogdan Zhulavskyi   Kredo-63 Odessa

Source:"Team Ukraine". Hanover Sevens website. Retrieved 2009-01-26.


Head coach:   Gareth Baber

Player Club
Johnathan Edwards   Scarlets
Lee Beach   Neath RFC
Rhodri McAtee   Cornish Pirates
Lee Williams   Scarlets
Martin Roberts   Scarlets
James Lewis   Newport Gwent Dragons
Gareth Chapman   Cardiff RFC
Alec Jenkins   London Welsh RFC
James Merriman   Neath RFC
Dafydd Hewitt   Cardiff Blues
Andy Powell   Cardiff Blues
Richie Pugh   Cardiff RFC

Source:"Team Wales". Hanover Sevens website. Retrieved 2009-01-26.


  1. ^ Portugal take Hannover 7's Title[permanent dead link] therugbyworldcup.co.uk, accessed: 26 January 2009
  2. ^ Die Endplatzierungen Archived 2009-02-20 at the Wayback Machine (in German) Hanover Sevens website, accessed: 25 January 2009
  3. ^ And now for something completely different: ENC 7's 2008 in Hannover accessed: 26 January 2009
  4. ^ The 7s European Championship Hanover Sevens website – History of the tournament, accessed: 25 January 2009
  5. ^ AWD-Arena – facts Hanover Sevens website – stadium information, accessed: 25 January 2009
  6. ^ Ultimate Sevens website Archived 2009-01-26 at the Wayback Machine Article on the Hanover Sevens, accessed: 26 January 2009
  7. ^ Germans go sevens-crazy Archived 2012-10-25 at the Wayback Machine The Independent, accessed: 26 January 2009

External linksEdit