Eleven of the premier teams in the international
women’s sevens game will be heading to Hong Kong for the second
IRB Challenge Cup after the successful debut in Dubai, including
two new teams making their debut appearances in Hong Kong, Spain
2012 marks the 15th year of international women’s
sevens rugby competition in Hong Kong.
All seedings for the IRB Challenge Cup Hong Kong
were confirmed by the IRB and the tournament draw was conducted by
the IRB in Dublin. The teams were seeded from 1 – 12 based on
their performance in the IRB Challenge Cup debut tournament in
Dubai or, for teams not participating in Dubai, on the strength of
their most recent performances.
The seedings are as follows:
Canada, England, Australia, USA, Spain, Netherlands, China,
Brazil, Russia, Japan, Hong Kong and Tunisia. Following the
seeding the tournament was drawn with three teams in each of four
Pool A sees Canada, the current IRB
Challenge Cup holders and reigning Hong Kong Womens’ Rugby Sevens
champions, drawn as the top seeds alongside Brazil, host of the
2016 Summer Olympics where rugby sevens will make its Olympic
debut, and Russia, host of the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens, which
will also feature a women’s competition.
sees England, the reigning European women’s sevens champions,
drawn with Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 Bowl champions China. China
is currently the top-ranked team in Asian women’s sevens after
winning the Asian Rugby Football Union’s (ARFU) Asian Women’s
Sevens championships in Pune, India in October 2011. Japan, the
third-ranked team in Asian women’s sevens, are the third seeds in
is topped by Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 winners Australia,
followed by The Netherlands and the hosts Hong Kong, the fifth ranked team in Asian women’s sevens.
Pool D features another women’s rugby powerhouse in the
United States alongside Spain, winners of the Plate Final in
Dubai, and Tunisia.
China and Kazakhstan, ranked
number one and two in Asian Women’s Sevens, have also earned
invites to the concluding
IRB Challenge Cup event in London,
England in May 2012.
Ms Ruth Mitchell, Tournament
Director of the IRB Challenge Cup Hong Kong and the winner of the
IRB and ARFU Women’s Personality of the Year awards in 2011,
commented on the draw saying, “The tournament draw has thrown the
competition wide open with some exciting matches in store. It will
be interesting to see how some of the top Asian teams in women’s
sevens perform against what is one of the most competitive fields
we have assembled in the 15-year history of the Hong Kong Women’s
The Cup Final of the HKWRS has been played in the Hong Kong
Stadium as part of the men’s
Hong Kong Sevens since 1999, but given the expanded profile of this year’s women’s tournament, the
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012 will host four IRB Challenge Cup matches in front of the 40,000 strong crowd at the
Hong Kong Stadium.
The Plate Final will be played at 18:12
on Friday, (23 March 2012 ), while the Cup Semi Finals will be played
consecutively starting at 11:42 on Saturday, (24 March 2012) with the
Cup Final held at 16:50 on Saturday at the Hong Kong Stadium.
The IRB Challenge Cup Hong Kong will be played
from 08:30 to 17:00 on Friday, March 23, 2012, at the Hong Kong
Football Club. Admission is free via the Jockey Club Museum Tunnel
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