The inaugural HSBC Asian Sevens Series kicks off
this weekend with the Shanghai Sevens, which will be held 27-28
August at the Yuanshen Stadium in Pudong.
Asian rugby’s newest elite competition, the HSBC
Asian Sevens Series features four tournaments in its first year.
The Shanghai Sevens and the Borneo Sevens, which will be held in
Kota Kinabalu from 24-25 September, are ranking competitions and
each will feature 12 teams.
Teams will later compete in new tournaments in
Bangkok, Thailand 12-13 November and Goa, India 19-20 November. These events will each comprise eight teams.
title sponsorship of the Asian Sevens Series runs from 2011 to
2013. From two ranking tournaments in 2011, the HSBC Asian Sevens
Series will grow to three ranking tournaments by 2012 and
ultimately to all four events being ranking tournaments by 2013.
Mr Peter Wong, Chief Executive of HSBC Asia Pacific, said, “We
believe in encouraging potential wherever and whenever we can. Development of rugby in Asia is one area where we see such
potential and it is incredibly exciting to support the HSBC Asian Sevens Series as it visits China, Malaysia, Thailand and India. We
anticipate more people playing and watching rugby, and can see the
sport itself maturing every year with its return to the Olympics
Following the completion of the Shanghai and Borneo
tournaments, ARFU will have a ranking of Asia’s elite sevens
teams. The ranking will determine which Asian national teams are
invited to the premier international tournaments such as the
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens in March 2012.
ranking is designed to also be used to determine qualification for
other regional and international competitions like the Asian Games
and even participation in the qualification for the 2016 Summer
Olympic Games where Rugby Sevens will make its debut as an Olympic
Mr Ross Mitchell, Honorary Secretary General of the
Asian Rugby Football Union, commented on the inception of the
Series, saying, “ARFU is now able to provide more consistent
competition and greater opportunities for our elite men’s and
women’s sevens teams to further develop their players. The series
results will also create a transparent ranking system for
qualification for multi-sport competitions like the Asian Games
and for the Olympics.”
There has been a strong response to the
new Asian Sevens Series, with the Shanghai and Borneo Sevens
attracting a full complement of premier sides from across Asia,
including Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, China and Malaysia.
Hong Kong, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates will
participate in all four of this year’s HSBC Asian Sevens Series
Korea, last year’s number one ranked Asian sevens side,
will look to make it three consecutive wins in the Shanghai Sevens
and will also take part in Borneo. Japan, Asia’s number two side,
will participate in Shanghai, Borneo and Bangkok.
HSBC and ARFU
have pledged to continue their successful development work with
the HSBC ARFU Rugby Coaching Tour. After reaching nearly 2,000 new
participants to rugby in just four months through this year’s HSBC
Asian Five Nations, the tour will continue its efforts to
introduce new audiences to rugby across the HSBC Asian Sevens
For the first ever HSBC Asian Sevens Series event in
Shanghai, a series of special training camps will be arranged for
youth from local and international schools and the Sport for All
charity during the event week. The training camps will culminate
in a special mini-tournament played over the weekend at the
Shanghai and Borneo will also host women’s
sevens competitions as ARFU continues to nurture the strong growth
in women’s rugby in the region. China, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan and
Thailand will compete in Shanghai.
Mr Jarrad Gallagher,
Regional General Manager for Asia of the International Rugby Board
(IRB), said, “As the launch of this new Series proves, rugby in
Asia continues to grow. Investing in tournaments and events is an
important way to support this impressive growth of the game, and
we thank HSBC for their continued support to the game in the
“The new HSBC Asian Sevens Series will help further
strengthen Asian rugby and ensure that the region has its own
top-level competition, joining rugby nations around the world as
they continue to develop their strength in Sevens rugby in
preparation for the ultimate sevens event, the 2016 Olympic Games
in Rio de Janeiro.”
HSBC Asian Sevens Series 2011
28 August, Shanghai Sevens, Yuanshen Stadium, Shanghai, China
– 25 September, Borneo Sevens, Likas Stadium, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
12 – 13 November, Thailand Sevens, Bangkok
19 – 20
Shanghai - Men’s teams: China, Chinese Taipei, Hong
Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines,
Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates. Women’s teams: China,
Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Thailand.
Borneo - Men’s teams: Brunei,
China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea,
Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates.
Women’s teams - China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.
Bangkok - Men’s teams: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan,
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, United Arab Emirates.
Men’s teams: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan,
Singapore, United Arab Emirates.
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