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HKRFU Names Men’s and Women’s Sevens Squads

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The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) has named the men’s and women’s sevens squads that will compete in this weekend’s Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens and Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens.

This year the HKRFU Men’s Sevens team, as the champion of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series, is competing in the HSBC Sevens World Series (HSBC SWS) portion of the Hong Kong Sevens, alongside the 15 core teams on the international circuit. Hong Kong is grouped with Canada, Fiji and Spain in Pool D.

A separate 12-team tournament will take place during the Hong Kong Sevens to determine four additional non-core teams to advance to the final HSBC SWS qualifier at the London Sevens in May.

Hong Kong has already booked its place for the qualifier at Twickenham, where it will take part in an eight-team tournament including the bottom three teams on the World Series after the Glasgow Sevens. The prize on offer in London is a chance to qualify for all ten events on next year’s HSBC SWS.

HKRFU Head of Performance and Coaching and National Coach Dai Rees has shown faith in the side that won this year’s HSBC Asian Sevens Series in Mumbai in October, and qualified as one of the three Asian teams to take part in the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow in June.

Although Hong Kong has selected an experienced side for next week’s tournament, four of the 12-man team will mark their Hong Kong Sevens debut: Nick Hewson, Eni Gesinde, Cado Lee and Ben Rimene.

 Team mainstays Kwok Ka Chun, Anthony Haynes, Salom Yiu Kam Shing and Alex and Tom McQueen have all made the final selection and Rowan Varty, the team’s most experienced player with seven Hong Kong Sevens appearances, will resume his captain’s role for the squad.

“I am pleased that we could select a settled team and maintain the team dynamic that took us to Asian number one and the Rugby World Cup later this year. Our recent trip to Zimbabwe helped us get back into sevens mode after the players had a long layoff due to domestic rugby commitments. Now that we have our 12 we can focus on maintaining the intensity of competition we saw in Zimbabwe,” said Rees.

HKRFU Head of Performance and Coaching and National Coach - Dai Rees  

Dai Rees - Click to Enlarge (more pics)

 

“Even I was surprised to see we had four players on debut as they were all key players for us throughout last year’s HSBC Asian Sevens Series. Last year Cado served as our team liaison for the Hong Kong Sevens to give him a taste of the event and the intensity of our preparations and now he has the opportunity to run out with the team which is very exciting for him,” Rees added. “Eni, who was formerly in the England Sevens training squad, brings a unique skill set to our forwards. He obviously has the physical attributes and height that are needed at this level but he also has a good engine and makes an impact when he comes on to the pitch ... Ben has done a great job this season and offers vital depth at fly-half. Him and Jamie Hood have pushed each other throughout the campaign, which helped us cover for the absence of Keith Robertson ... Nick is a stalwart for Hong Kong rugby and I am pleased that he is fit after he was injured shortly before last year’s tournament. He offers a lot of experience on the park and a robust physical presence which will be important.”

Coach Rees also discussed his expectations for the tournament saying, “As we have already qualified for the London Sevens, we didn’t have too much pressure early on, but I think that after the tournament draw expectations have been raised. We are pooled with Canada, Fiji and Spain and both Canada and Spain were in the qualification side of last year’s Hong Kong Sevens, so being drawn with them has raised expectations on the team to try and get a win or two in the pool stages.

“In any case, our goal remains the same. We want to maximize the opportunity to play against the core sides ahead of London and are aiming at finishing among the top 12 teams or playing in any one of the finals on Sunday to get the maximum of six matches under our belts from the coming weekend. That will hold us in good stead for Twickenham and Moscow,” concluded Rees.

Hong Kong received an important fillip last week, winning the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee’s Sports Stars Team Award for Team Only Sport for a third consecutive year on Thursday evening.

 Hong Kong Women’s Sevens Squad

 Hong Kong is pooled alongside Canada and Japan for the 16th edition of the women’s sevens. Coaches Kane Jury and Andy Yuen Kin-ho have also kept their faith in the majority of last year’s squad with just two players making their debut, Ivy Kwong and Melody Li.

Senior Women’s Coach Kane Jury said, “There is a good balance in the squad and our preparations have gone as planned. We are excited to have Melody and Ivy making their debut. Having some young players in the squad helps add enthusiasm, which is great to have as part of our training environment. All of the members of the training squad did a great job to keep the more established players on their toes as well.” 

Pictures and Other Hong Kong Sevens 2013 Coverage

As there are so many Pictures of the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2013 we have cut them up into different pages: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7, Page 8, Page 9, Page 10, Page 11, Page 12, Page 13, Page 14, Page 15, Page 16, Page 17 and Page 18.

See past stories about the Hong Kong Sevens 2013: Pictures from Hong Kong Sevens 2013, Results from Hong Kong Sevens 2013, Sevens Legend Waisale Serevi Inducted into IRB Hall of Fame, Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2013 Ready for Kick Off!, What Impact Does Hong Kong Sevens Have on Long-Haul Travel?, South Stand Fashion - What to Wear at the Hong Kong Sevens, HKRFU Launches Rugby App; Chance to Win Tickets to HK Sevens, Hong Kong RFU to Launch a School of Rugby in Hong Kong, HKRFU Partners Serevi Rugby to Provide Special Training Camps, HKRFU Names Men's and Women's Sevens Squads, US Eagles Land in HK for Sevens; Jamaica Ready for Debut, Air Pacific Partners Ben Kende Foundation to Provide Medical Supplies to FORU, Rugby Sevens Teams from South Africa and France Arrive in Hong Kong, Official Draw for the 2013 Hong Kong Sevens, Beach Boys to Perform at Hong Kong Sevens, Hong Kong Sevens Officially Sold Out!, 2013 Hong Kong Sevens Public Ticket Sale to be via Public Ballot, Fans in Australia Can Purchase Tickets for 2013 Hong Kong Sevens, Biggest Hong Kong Sevens Ever! and Dates for the Cathay Pacific HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2013.

See other recent news regarding: Interviews, Pictures, Videos, Hong Kong, HSBC, Cathay Pacific, Rugby World Cup, Rugby League World Cup, Rugby, Sevens, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Sevens

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