THE top 16 rugby sevens teams from around the world descend on Glasgow this weekend.

For the third year running, the ­penultimate leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series comes to Scotstoun Stadium.

The small-sided version of rugby has been played around the world for more than 130 years since being ­devised by Melrose butcher Ned Haig as a fundraising event for his club.

With seven players on each side, playing seven minutes each half on a full-size pitch, it is a fast-paced, high try scoring game.

Teams will be competing for the Ned Haig Cup - presented to the ­winners of the Glasgow leg - and for vital points that could take them nearer to being crowned World Series champions.

In total, 45 matches will take place over the weekend as teams compete for the Cup, Plate, Bowl and Shield with pool games on Saturday and a knockout tournament on Sunday.

Current title holders New Zealand lead the table with 136 points, South Africa are just behind (129) with Fiji, England and Australia in hot pursuit. On the back of their Bowl win in the last leg, in Hong Kong, Scotland sit in 12th place.

Performances in Glasgow, at the event run by Scottish Rugby in partnership with Glasgow Life, are vitally important - the whole championship could be won here and teams near the bottom of the table have to do well, to ensure they keep their place in the Series next year.

In addition to a host of international players - including the likes of New Zealand's DJ Forbes and Glasgow Warriors' US star Carlin Isles - Scotland have recently fielded plenty of top talent.

Pro club players Mark Bennett, Scott Wight, James Eddie and Lee Jones showed their pace in Hong Kong, alongside Scotland talent Scott Riddell, Colin Gregor and Chris Dean.

Alongside the main international event there is the Festival of Rugby which gives hundreds of young players from across Scotland the chance to take part in their own age grade small-sided competitions.

Two winners of the under-18 boys' competition will also secure the chance to play on the main pitch at Ibrox during the Commonwealth Games rugby sevens event on July 27.

There is an east-west student fixture with Edinburgh and Glasgow University teams going head to head on the main pitch on Sunday.

Councillor Archie Graham, chairman of Glasgow Life, said: "We are extremely proud that Glasgow has been chosen for the penultimate leg."

Tickets for the 2014 Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s tournament are £20 and £10 for under-18s, students and senior citizens. Visit