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Hong Kong Sevens

Sevens Set for another Sensational Show in 2018

In its 43rd year, the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2018 is yet again defying the odds, getting bigger and better every year.
 

Another full house is expected, with 120,000 rugby-and revelry-mad fans set to throng the Hong Kong Stadium over three fast and furious days of rugby this month.
 

And another outstanding show is in store as the upper reaches of international sevens remain tantalisingly competitive, with almost as many winners as tournaments so far in the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series.

 

South Africa are in everyone’s sights as they cling to the top spot on the Series standings after a win in the opening Series event in Dubai and runners-up finishes in Sydney and Hamilton, New Zealand.

 

The South Africans are top seeds in Pool C for this year’s Hong Kong Sevens. The tournament draw was kind to the Blitzbokke, grouping them with England (ranked 7th on the Series entering Hong Kong), Scotland (12th) and South Korea, the team invited by World Rugby to take the 16th slot in the tournament.
 

Fiji remain a lurking threat as the defending Olympic, World Series and Hong Kong Sevens champions build momentum ahead of their return to their spiritual home away
from home in Happy Valley.

 

The Fijians have won two of the last three tournaments, in Vancouver and Hamilton. Fiji have also won the past three Hong Kong Sevens on the trot, beating South Africa and New Zealand in those finales here.
 

The vociferous Fijian fan army will be willing their team to claim a record-breaking fourth consecutive cup in the sport’s premier tournament.
 

As usual, the road to that milestone travels through the New Zealand All Blacks, the most fearsome name in World Rugby and the second–most successful side in Hong Kong history with 11 cup wins here.

 

Adding spice to that historic rivalry is the pairing of Fiji and New Zealand in what promises to be a fiercely contested Pool A. Another past Hong Kong champion and proud Pacific Island nation, Samoa, are in there too, with Russia rounding out what promises to be the most physically demanding group in this year’s tournament.

 

Pool B is topped by Kenya, as reward for their strong showing last month in Vancouver. They are grouped with Australia, who enter Hong Kong on something of a roll, ranked fourth on the World Series table. Canada, ranked 11th, and Spain, at 14th, complete the pool.
 

The USA Eagles have already tasted success on the Series this season – winning their home event in Las Vegas last month. Then a semi-finals appearance in Vancouver sees them seeded top in Pool D, where they face Argentina (one spot above them on the Series table in fifth place) in the pool stages. France (ranked 10th) and Wales (13th) round out probably the most wide open of the pools.
 

Rounding out the excitement of the Hong Kong Sevens is the hosting of two more competitions during the tournament weekend, the World Rugby Men’s and Women’s Sevens Series qualifiers.
 

A further 24 teams (12 in the men’s tournament and 12 in the women’s tournament) will contest these hard-fought events with the lure of a full-time spot on the respective World Series on offer for each of the winners.
 

Hong Kong’s Men’s and Women’s national teams will be in the mix once again with the men having reached the semifinals stages in the qualifier in two of the past three seasons before bowing out unseasonably early last year.
 

Hong Kong’s women are eagerly eyeing the chance to play in front of the Hong Kong Stadium crowd for the first time ever during the Hong Kong Sevens. Previous editions of the Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens tournament cum World
 

Rugby Women’s Sevens Qualifier have seen the semi-finals and finals held beneath the lights and in front of the masses at the Sevens.
 

This year, the Hong Kong Rugby Union is opening the gates even earlier on Friday to accommodate all of the quarterfinals of the Women’s competition as well.
 

And as the beating heart of sevens rugby returns to the Hong Kong Stadium – sevens fever continues to spread to even more venues around town.
 

More than ever before, the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is taking Hong Kong's biggest party to the people with the Sevens Kick-off Concert on Thursday, 5 April, featuring pop reggae legends UB40.

 

The beat continues over the weekend inside the stadium with performances from international recording artists Smash Mouth and top Hong Kong bands Andy is Typing and Chochukmo on the North Stand stage.
 

The action begins in Causeway Bay with the 16-day long Sevens Festival at Lee Gardens. This public festival sees a host of food and beverage and rugby-themed activities and musical entertainment helping to build excitement ahead of the Sevens.
 

Over the stadium weekend those without a ticket will want to visit Seasons at Lee Garden Two where a Sevens bar is being set-up to carry all of the live action on the big
screens to members of the public.

 

“The Festival at Lee Gardens 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, CEO of the HKRU.
 

And all over town, bars and restaurants are getting into the excitement with special discounts and deals for rugby fans.
 

As Hong Kong once again reverberates with its annual extravaganza of Sevens rugby and shameless fun, where else would anyone want to be?

 

 

(Edited on 3 Apr 2018)

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