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Hong Kong Sevens

SEVENS on the up and up in 2017

As if the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens weren’t always exciting enough, this year’s tournament has the makings of a classic as the formbook gets a shake-up.
South Africa dominated the early season on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and hold the top spot. But England – who haven’t taken the Hong Kong Cup home since 2006 – are making a fine showing in 2017, including turning the Blitzbokke over in the previous round in Vancouver, to win the Cup 19-7 and close the gap in the standings to a gettable 23 points with four rounds to go. 
So where are perennial Hong Kong finishers Fiji and New Zealand – each under new management since the Fijians followed victory here last year with a mighty Gold at the firstever Olympic Sevens competition in Rio? 
Both are yet to win in this year’s Series but who would write off the two teams that have a near stranglehold on success at So Kon Po over the last decade?
And so the beating heart of sevens rugby returns to the Hong Kong Stadium – and to even more venues around town. 
The weekend sees 28 teams primed for the fray, with surprises a distinct possibility as talent like the United States and Germany looks to upset the old order in their respective competitions. 
The hometown heroes will be out in the World Rugby Sevens Series qualifier tournament – under the guidance of new head coach Paul John, who has taken over from Gareth Baber, now guiding champions Fiji. 
Hong Kong’s women are eagerly eyeing the chance to play in front of the Stadium crowd. There’s more hope than ever of that this year as Hong Kong hosts the 12-team World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series Qualifier, with both the semifinals and the final being played at the Stadium.
Building on recent years' success, the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is taking Hong Kong's biggest party to the people. Across the weekend at the Stadium, there’ll be performances from the legendary ska band Madness and the acclaimed From the Jam outfit. The North Stand will host tribute bands rocking their way through favourites from The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival – among others.
Returning to Central bigger than ever and throughout event week, HKSEVENS Central has transformed Chater Garden into a mini Hong Kong Stadium, complete with pitch, skills games and competitions, official merchandise booths – and appearances from some of the superstars of the game.
HKSEVENS Central will also host the Sevens in the City viewing party where fans will be treated to continuous real-time coverage from the main event over the weekend.
“This week-long party is one of many initiatives designed to share the Sevens with the whole community. We want people all over Hong Kong – and around the world, to feel part of this globally renowned event, and to enjoy it just like those inside the Stadium,” said Robbie McRobbie, Deputy CEO of the HKRU.
This year Causeway Bay is also getting in on the act with the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens FanWalk turning the popular Lee Gardens shopping centre into a weekend-long rugby-themed party.
And all over town, the new Cathay Pacific/HBSC Hong Kong Sevens Bars & Restaurants Club initiative has lined up over 100 bars and restaurants with special discounts and deals for rugby fans. The HKSEVENS mobile app has all you need to know.
As Hong Kong fizzes once again with its annual extravaganza of Sevens rugby and shameless fun, where else would anyone want to be?
(Edited on 7/4/17)


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