The founding club, Stockholm Exiles, celebrated its 30th jubilee by playing in the Hong Kong Tens in 1992 where they did surprisingly well. This led to starting the first European Tens which has now grown to be the largest in the world with 50 competing teams.
The Tens got off to a kick start in 1993 when one of the 12 teams, the famous Bahrain Warblers, turned up with five current British Lions, including the Hastings brothers. Needless to say, they won easily, despite combining the trip with a stag party for Gavin! Another famous touring team, the Penguins, bobbed up the next year, once again packed with internationals such as Scottish captain Rob Wainwright and top club players. They met stern opposition, however, in a President’s Ten based on Bath, including Jon Callard and English captain Phil de Glanville, whom they narrowly beat in the final.
The next year saw the advent of professional rugby union and the international stars were no longer available for Summer tournaments. The standard remained high, however, with another strong Presidents Ten and a select of South Pacific Vikings based in Scandinavia beating the host club Exiles in the two succeeding finals.
In 1997 our second South African team arrived, Rustenburg and this time they won it while in the following year the tough Latvians, Kvadra Pak, mainly of Russian origin, powered their way to a win.
In 1999, Edinburgh Aardvarks who started off as a Summer touring squad got stronger and stronger and saw off Exiles in the final, while the new millennium saw a strong Irish Renegades team with a number of Ulster players beat Swedish team Vänersborg in an excellent final. Some of the promising visiting teams failed to deliver in 2001 and Exiles won an all-Swedish final against Red Saints. The Irish Renegades returned reinvigoured the following year to beat surprise package Hammarby in the final and in 2003 club side Haddington, just below the top level in Scotland, were too strong for Exiles in the final. By 2004 the Men’s tournament had expanded to 21 teams and in a gripping final, CIA Sharks, a mixture of quality league and union players, won 8 – 7 against Susies Saloon, based on a squad of Aussies who for years have swept the floor with everyone at the Copenhagen Sevens.
The Ladies tournament started in 1994 but has been a more low-key affair with at most 8 teams competing, mainly Swedish. Exiles (four times), Vänersborg and Enköping have all won the tournament while Elefantes from Barcelona, the Scottish National Ladies team and Henley from England have all played well to win the remaining tournaments. In addition, Old Boys and U19, have also respectively staggered and scampered around the field on a number of occasions and will continue to do so this year as well.