On Monday, the Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU) held
the official draw for the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
2016 and the Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens 2016 (HKWRS).
Three draws were held for the Cathay Pacific /
HSBC Hong Kong Sevens – Round Seven of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens
Series, among the 15 series teams plus South Korea, World Rugby’s
nominated 16th team – and the 12-team World Rugby Sevens Series
Qualifier, which will be played concurrently. The draw for the
10-team HKWRS was also held.
At the halfway point of this year’s Series, and
with Rugby Sevens soon to debut at the Rio Olympics, the action to
date has been compelling. Fiji are atop the standings on 106
points, ahead of South Africa (105) and New Zealand (104), winners
of the sixth round in Vancouver (12-13 March).
All eleven of the presently qualified teams for
the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be present in Hong Kong along with
12 of the 16 teams taking part in the final men’s Olympic
qualification tournament in Monaco in June.
With the addition of the Qualifier, the Hong
Kong Sevens remains the largest tournament on the series, with 28
teams playing across three days. The 2016 tournament will feature
70 men’s matches and the Cup Final of the Hong Kong Women’s Rugby
The debut of the Cayman Islands in the Qualifier
brings the number of competing nations in Hong Kong to 60 since
1976, while 39 countries have been represented in the HKWRS in its
19-year history, confirming the tournament’s tagline: ‘Hong Kong
Sevens, Where the World Comes to Play’.
Cathay Pacific / HSBC
Hong Kong Sevens 2016 - Draw Results
In the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
2016, series leaders Fiji will top Pool D, alongside Wales, Canada
and South Korea.
South Africa, runners-up in the series after
reaching the final in last weekend’s competition in Vancouver, are
the top seeds in Pool B, with Scotland, England and Russia.
Zealand, winners in Canada, top Pool A with Samoa, France and
Finally, Australia, in fourth place on the Series, are in
Pool C with USA, Argentina and Portugal.
The winner of the 12-team Qualifier, featuring
two teams from each of World Rugby’s six regions, will earn
promotion to next year’s Series, replacing the bottom-ranked team
after the completion of the 2015-16 season. Russia was promoted
from last year’s tournament in Hong Kong.
teams are Morocco and Zimbabwe (Africa), Hong Kong and Japan
(Asia), Germany and Spain (Europe), Cayman Islands and Mexico
(North America), Brazil and Chile (South America) and Papua New
Guinea and Tonga (Oceania).
Alongside debutants the Cayman
Islands, Germany appears for the first time since 1992, and could
receive an emotional boost from the recent announcement of
Hasselhoff’s appearance at this year’s tournament. Hasselhoff is
highly regarded in the country where his 1989 New Year concert at
the Berlin Wall was attended by hundreds of thousands of Germans.
For the 12-team Qualifier draw, the teams were banded into
four groups of three teams each by World Rugby, based on their performances on the Series and at other international sevens
events over the preceding two years. The banded teams were then drawn to complete Pools E, F and G of the tournament. The Series
teams and those in the Qualifier will not play against each other.
Pool E features Zimbabwe, hosts Hong Kong, Germany and
debutants the Cayman Islands. Pool F comprises Spain, Chile, Papua New Guinea and Mexico, while lining up in Pool G are Japan, Tonga,
Brazil and Morocco.
Following Monday’s draw, Hong Kong
coach and former Wales Sevens international Gareth Baber, said,
“With the top 15 teams here, and the Rio Olympics just around the
corner, the Hong Kong Sevens is going to be even more exciting
than usual. In the Hong Kong team, it’s always our aim to get into
semi-finals and finals. We did it in the qualifying for Rio
against Japan but we’ve not been able to do the same at the last
two Hong Kong Sevens. So that’s our ambition this time.”
Asked how the tournament might play out, Baber noted that
“I’ve been hugely impressed by New Zealand recently. They just
have the attitude to go out and win games. And New Zealand love
playing here, and never miss a beat.”
Ten teams will contest the HKWRS, the 19th anniversary of this
pioneering women’s competition. The top four participating teams, based on international and regional rankings and past performances
in the Hong Kong tournament, were placed as the top two seeds in
two five-team pools.
The seeded teams in Pool A are France
and South Africa, with Kazakhstan, China and Kenya drawn at random
tonight to join them. Japan and Hong Kong are the top and second
seeds respectively in Pool B, and they are joined by Argentina,
Thailand and Sri Lanka.
Hong Kong women’s sevens coach and
former New Zealand Black Fern Anna Richards believes Hong Kong
have a challenge in their group.
“Argentina are a tough team to
play, and Japan are always a big threat,” said Anna who added that the
team will be well prepared, with spirits high and the players
“confident that they have the proven ability to beat any of the
teams they are up against.”
The Cathay Pacific / HSBC
Hong Kong Sevens will be played from 8-10 April 2016 at the
sold-out 40,000-seat Hong Kong Stadium.
Other pages about the 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Hong Kong Sevens - Interview with Luc Bollen,
GM of The Park Lane Hong Kong,
Fiji Beat New Zealand to Win 2016 Hong Kong Sevens,
South Africa Beat France to Win Hong Kong Women's Rugby Sevens,
Japan Look Strong After Day 1 of Hong Kong Women's Rugby Sevens,
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens a Dress Rehearsal for Rio 2016,
Sevens 2016 to Honour Beth Coalter and Jonah Lomu,
HKRU Brings Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens to Central,
Hong Kong Rugby Union Names Men's and Women's Sevens Squads,
Natasha Olson-Thorne to Captain Hong Kong Women's Rugby Sevens
HKRU Launches Professional 15s Platform; Leigh
Jones to Head Programme,
Hong Kong Sevens 2016 Official Draw: South Africa Top Seeds in
Pool B with Scotland, England and Russia,
HKRU Confirms Teams Participating in Hong Kong Women's Rugby
HKRU Confirms Teams for 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong
Sevens, David Hasselhoff, The Proclaimers and Bjorn Again to Perform at
Hong Kong Sevens,
Public Ballot System for Hong Kong Sevens 2016 Tickets Opens.
See pictures from the HK7s in
Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens,
Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015,
Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong
Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015,
Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013,
of Chartis Cup 2012 and
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.
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