With a new format for the
Hong Kong Sevens 2012, this year’s event is shaping up to be the
most competitive tournament held in the 37-year history of the
world-famous Hong Kong Sevens.
Hong Kong retains its unique status
as the largest event on the HSBC Sevens World Series with 24 teams
as opposed to 16 at other circuit events, but the tournament has a
unique new role in 2012 as this year’s Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong
Sevens will double as a qualification event to identify three new
teams to participate in an expanded 15 core team HSBC Sevens World
Series (HSBC SWS) next season.
As a result, Hong Kong will play host to two
competitions played within the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong
Sevens. A 12-team core team competition will contest the Hong Kong
Sevens Cup, Plate and Bowl with points being awarded to the HSBC
The 12 HSBC SWS core teams are Argentina,
Australia, England, Fiji, France, Kenya, New Zealand, Samoa,
Scotland, South Africa, USA and Wales.
A separate HSBC
Sevens World Series qualification tournament will be held for the
remaining 12 teams. The top three finishers overall in this
competition will gain automatic entry to the HSBC SWS 2012/2013.
The Qualifier teams are Canada, China, Guyana, Hong Kong, Japan,
Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Tonga, Uruguay and Zimbabwe.
Trevor Gregory, Chairman of the Hong Kong Rugby
Football Union, said,
“Spectators at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens are in
store for quite simply the most competitive Hong Kong Sevens ever
played in our 37-year history. It is fitting that the most
competitive Hong Kong Sevens ever is part of what is shaping up to
be the most competitive HSBC Sevens World Series to date.”
different teams have won the five Series events played to date
with New Zealand returning as defending Hong Kong Sevens champions
and HSBC SWS leaders, closely followed by Fiji, South Africa,
England and Samoa, with only South Africa yet to capture a Cup
New Zealand won in South Africa and at their
home tournament in Wellington as well as reaching the final in two
other events. Fiji won the series opener in Australia, while
England won in Dubai and Samoa are the most recent champions in
The results see ten-time Hong Kong Sevens
champions New Zealand at the top of the series with 92 points.
Fiji, (who hold the record with 12 wins in Hong Kong including
both Rugby World Cup Sevens) are close behind on 87 points. South
Africa (76), England (74) and Samoa (69) are tightly bunched
behind the top 2, whilst Australia and France lie joint 6th on 52
The Series’ top try scorer, New Zealand’s Frank
Halai, is unfortunately absent though injury, giving England’s Dan
Norton and fellow kiwi Tomasi Cama a chance to catch up. Cama also
leads the Series on total points scoring with 215 points ahead of
Scot Colin Gregor who has 154 points to his credit.
continued parity on the series makes a win in Hong Kong even more
important for the teams and a pivotal factor in deciding the HSBC
SWS 2011/2012 champions. The US$100,000 prize purse for the Hong
Kong Sevens Cup champions will only add to the intensity of the
matches this weekend at the Hong Kong Stadium.
and Guyana will make their debut in this year’s
Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, becoming the 50th and 51st national
teams to take part in the tournament since its inception in 1976.
“With teams from every populated continent playing in
2012, the Hong Kong Sevens continues to raise the level and
profile of our game across the globe, and in doing so making the
Hong Kong tournament a particularly special international event,”
Mr. Gregory added.
Over 120,000 spectators
are expected across the three-day tournament.
Ben Ryan, Coach of England, said, “We have to play as
well as we can really. We have a difficult pool, three very good
opponents and can't look beyond Argentina on Friday night. The tournament is a lot harder, no easy games. But it is still
Hong Kong, still a special place, still six games over 3 days. It
is all systems go and normal service ... It's got more
competitive than it was last year. The top teams are still there
but the teams below are playing better and you have to work much
harder and not slip up to get through to Cup quarter finals and to
win the Plate Finals just to get the points you need to stay in
touch and we are just about hanging in by the skin of our teeth
the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union and co-sponsored by Cathay
Pacific Airways and HSBC, the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
will be held from Friday, 23 March to Sunday, 25 March 2012, at the
Hong Kong Stadium.
More from the:
2012 Cathay Pacific/HSBC
Hong Kong Sevens
See other recent news regarding: