By Gary Anderson

New Zealand in action against South Africa during Glasgow 2014 rugby sevens which was named the rugby's event of the year ©Getty Images The record breaking rugby sevens tournament at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has been named as the sport's top event of the year at Rugby Expo 2014.

The event beat off competition from the Women's Rugby World Cup hosted by France in August and rugby league's Super League Magic Weekend in May, featuring seven matches and 14 elite teams from England competing at the Etihad Stadium,in Manchester.

The award was announced at Rugby Expo 2014, taking place at Twickenham Stadium in London which is a gathering of leading industry experts and organisations from across both codes.

The rugby sevens event at Glasgow 2014 took place across two days and saw a world record 171,000 spectators packed into Ibrox Stadium to watch a total of 45 matches.

The gold medal was claimed by South Africa for the first time as they overcame New Zealand in the final 17-12.

The All Blacks had won every gold medal in the event since it first appeared on the Commonwealth Games sports programme at Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

"Rugby sevens as a sport was born in Scotland, so it's really wonderful to see Glasgow and Scotland's Commonwealth Games showcase for the sport recognised as the top rugby event this year," said Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg, set to take up the same role at the Commonwealth Games Federation next month. 

"The two days of rugby sevens at Ibrox were remarkable and memorable not just for the incredible sport but also for the sheer energy and enthusiasm generated by the crowds.

"We're really proud to have played our part in sharing rugby sevens with new audiences.

"This award is for the amazing athletes and the wonderful crowds which supported them as well as the world-beating experience of rugby seven they all helped create at Glasgow 2014."

A world record rugby sevens crowd of 171,000 attended the two days of action at Ibrox Stadium during Glasgow 2014 ©Getty Images A world record rugby sevens crowd of 171,000 attended the two days of action at Ibrox Stadium during Glasgow 2014 ©Getty Images

The new will come as a further boost to rugby sevens as the sport begins the countdown to its Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016.

Speaking during the tournament in Glasgow in July, International Rugby Board chief executive Brett Gosper hailed the quality of the competition on show at Ibrox and the excitement generated in the crowds but warned that it cannot rest on its laurels when it comes to the Olympics.

Rugby sevens will appear at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 but a decision on any future inclusion on the Games programme is expected to made by the International Olympic Committee in 2017, with Gosper warning that "we need to get it right" in Rio.

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