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Inaugural HSBC Asian Sevens Series to Kick Off in Shanghai

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Send to Friend ASIA Travel Tips.com Latest Travel News Thursday, 25 August 2011

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.

HSBC’s 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 in 2016.”

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.

The 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 sport.

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.

China, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates will participate in all four of this year’s HSBC Asian Sevens Series events.

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 Series.

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 Sevens.

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 region.

“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

 27 – 28 August, Shanghai Sevens, Yuanshen Stadium, Shanghai, China
24 – 25 September, Borneo Sevens, Likas Stadium, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
12 – 13 November, Thailand Sevens, Bangkok
19 – 20 November, India Sevens, Goa

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.

Goa - Men’s teams: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates.

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