Two Twickenham-based rugby entrepreneurs have staked their professional futures on the growth of sevens rugby as an Olympic sport.

Barnes Rugby Club’s Rob Westworth and former journalist Ed Kemp quit their jobs in sales and marketing at the start of 2010 to set up Rugby Rocks - a day long music and rugby festival at Richmond RFC in June.

The pair set-up shop at Regal House - coincidentally the home of Premier Rugby Ltd and the Professional Rugby Players Association (PRA) - and have not looked back since.

Sevens was officially granted Olympic status in October last year for 2016, soon after Westworth and Kemp had come up with the idea to add a music festival to the newly established Nationals Sevens Series and basing it in Richmond.

Welsh band Feeder and South African stadium rockers the Parlotones are one of the headline acts to commit to the event, which takes place at the Athletic Ground on June 12 - days after the latter open the football World Cup in Johannesburg.

But for Kemp, who was also behind the appearance of X Factor stars Jamie Archer, Lucie Jones and Olly Murs at Harlequins’ Big Game 2 fixture over Christmas, it is all about the rugby.

“I is a bit of a risk, but we were so busy fitting setting it up around our day jobs that it became impossible to carry on,” he said.

“With the Olympic decision growing interest in the sport, we thought it was now or never.”

Westworth, an England schoolboy international and former Leeds Tyke, adds: “Once a sport becomes an Olympic sport it automatically goes on the school curriculum of a host of countries around the world.

“The sport is already 100-years-old and the growth of sevens in particular is going to be huge. It is all about fun and having a good time.”

Rugby Rocks rolls into Richmond as the first leg of the National Seven series, which will attract entrants from part-time and amateur rugby players - both men and women - the length of the country.

And Kemp, who lives in Barnes, is keen to emphasise it could be the first of many.

“The idea is to have a Rugby Rocks Paris, Rugby Rocks Rome or wherever we can take it. We didn’t want the music as an add on, we want both parts of the event to be equal, “ he added.

“If it is a success we will be looking at turning it into a two or three day festival.”

And Westworth admits Richmond was the natural choice as the launch pad.

He said: “The community here already gets behind so many rugby events. There are about eight sevens tournaments in the borough leading up to ours. It was an easy decision.”

For more information visit