Earlier this week, the Hong Kong Rugby Union
(HKRU) held the official draw for the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong
Kong Sevens 2017 and the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series
draws were held including that for the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong
Kong Sevens 2017 - Round Seven of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens
Series, featuring the 15 Series teams plus South Korea, World
Rugby’s nominated 16th team.
The draw for the 12-team World
Rugby Sevens Series Qualifier, played concurrently with the HSBC
World Rugby Sevens Series tournament, was also held, as well as
that for the 12-team World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series Qualifier.
Entering the backstretch of this year’s Series, the action to date
has been compelling. South Africa, winners of four of the six
Series events to date, are atop the standings on 126 points, ahead
of England (103), winners of the most recent event in Vancouver,
and Fiji (100).
With the addition of the Qualifier, the
Hong Kong Sevens remains the largest men’s tournament on the
series, with 28 teams playing across three days. Including the
World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series Qualifier, there will be a total
of 40 international teams participating in Hong Kong during Sevens
The 2017 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
tournament will feature 70 men’s matches and for the first time
ever, the semi-finals of the Women’s Sevens Series Qualifier will
be played in the Hong Kong Stadium, alongside the Cup Final, which
has been played in the stadium since 1998, for a total of 73
matches across the weekend.
The debut of Uganda in the
men’s Qualifier brings the number of nations that have competed in
Hong Kong to 60 since 1976, while the participation of Belgium,
Colombia, Italy and Jamaica in the Women’s Qualifier this year
means that 41 countries will have been represented in the 20-year
history of the women’s sevens tournament here.
extensive and historic field re-confirms the HKRU tagline: ‘Hong
Kong Sevens, Where the World Comes to Play’.
In the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2017, Vancouver
champions England will top Pool A, alongside Australia, Samoa and
South Korea (invited by World Rugby as the 16th team in Hong
South Africa, runners-up in Canada, are the top seeds in Pool B, joined by Canada, Kenya and France.
Fiji, bronze medallists in Vancouver, head up Pool C with New Zealand, Wales
USA, fourth-placed finishers in Vancouver, are
in Pool D with Argentina, Scotland and Russia.
of the 12-team World Rugby Sevens Series 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 2016-17 season. Japan was promoted from last
year’s tournament after beating the hosts Hong Kong in the final,
The Qualifier teams are Namibia and Uganda (Africa),
Guyana and Jamaica (Americas North), Chile and Uruguay (Americas
South), Hong Kong and Sri Lanka (Asia), Germany and Spain
(Europe), and Papua New Guinea and Tonga (Oceania). The teams from
Europe and Oceania remain unchanged from last year’s competition.
For the 12-team men’s 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
Pool E features Germany, Tonga, Uganda and Jamaica.
Pool F comprises Hong Kong, Chile, Sri Lanka and Namibia, while
lining up in Pool G are Spain, Papua New Guinea, Uruguay and
Following the draw, new Hong Kong coach and
former Wales Sevens coach and player
Paul John said, “It’s
obviously a great honour to be coaching Hong Kong. I’m really
excited and looking forward to getting involved. The
countries in the Qualifier are getting stronger and stronger.
Looking at our pool alone, Chile have had a good couple of
tournaments on the Series so that will be a tough match but I
think it’s important to have a few of those in the pool stages. It
will be a real challenge and it’s always exciting to have the
opportunity to play against quality opposition.”
Twelve teams will contest the World Rugby
Women’s Sevens Series Qualifier in Hong Kong. The tournament marks
the 20th consecutive year the international women’s sevens
tournament has been held in Hong Kong.
participating teams were banded into three groups of four and
drawn to complete the three pools (A, B and C).
Pool A alongside Asian rivals China, Netherlands and Jamaica.
Argentina lead Pool B with Kenya, Hong Kong and
Belgium while South Africa are joined in Pool C by Colombia, Papua
New Guinea and Italy.
Hong Kong women’s sevens coach and former New
Zealand Black Fern Anna Richards believes Hong Kong have a
challenge in their group.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to
contest the qualifier at home. The girls are all very excited.
They love playing in front of their home crowd and it’s thrilling
to have the possibility of going through to the Series. I’m pretty happy with our pool. For a moment I thought we might
get stuck in all-Asian pool with Japan and China but fortunately we were drawn in Pool B. We came up short last time against
Argentina and we played Kenya here a few years ago so it will be good to have another crack at both of those teams,” said Richards.
Mr Kevin Martin of HSBC said, “HSBC is proud to be a
co-title sponsor of the Hong Kong Sevens and the worldwide sponsor
of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Over the years, we have
witnessed the series grow from strength to strength, and it is
only getting bigger and better. The Hong Kong Sevens is
not only a showpiece event for the series, but for the city. HSBC
is committed to both Hong Kong and the sport of rugby, and it is
heartening to see the growth of the game at both the grassroots
and elite levels. We are delighted to welcome the best
players and fans from all around the world, including the Hong
Kong Rugby Team, who we proudly support.”
Mr Martin Murray of Cathay Pacific said, “As Hong Kong’s home
carrier, Cathay Pacific Airways has been a strong supporter of the
Sevens since the inaugural event in 1976. We are both proud and
delighted to have played our part in turning the Sevens into the
iconic event it is today. Our marketing theme for this
year’s Hong Kong Sevens is ‘Connecting the World to Sevens Fun’,
and we will be building up the buzz beginning with our latest TV
commercial – featuring our wonderful cabin crew as they spread
rugby fun everywhere they go.”
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.
See other recent