Teams Confirmed for 2010 Hong Kong Rugby Sevens

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Friday, 29 January 2010

The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union has confirmed the 24 international teams that will take part in the Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens 2010.

Hong Kongs unique role as the only IRB Sevens World Series event to host 24 teams, and the home of the largest prize purse in international rugby, ensures another thrilling weekend of end to end action played in front of 40,000 spectators in a highly festive atmosphere.

This years tournament again welcomes the 12 core teams participating in the IRB Sevens World Series in 2009/10: Argentina, Australia, England, defending Hong Kong champions Fiji, France, Kenya, New Zealand, Samoa, Scotland, reigning IRB Sevens World Series champions South Africa, USA and Wales.

Six other teams from outside the region will join the Core teams. These teams are: Canada, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Tonga and Zimbabwe. Russia marks its first return after back-to-back Bowl wins in Hong Kong in 2007 and 2008, while Italy returns for the first time since 2007.

Closer to home, the Hong Kong Sevens continues its traditional role as a hotbed of Asian rugby development hosting six teams from around the region. These six teams are the first to qualify through the new Asian Rugby Sevens Series established in October 2009. The teams are: China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, Thailand and the hosts Hong Kong. Thailand is returning to the Hong Kong Sevens for the first time since 2004.

The first two events on the 2009/10 IRB Sevens World Series have been won by a New Zealand side that is intent on resuming its dominance of international sevens after failing to win a tournament in 2008/09. Close behind the Kiwis are last years Sevens champions Fiji, crowd favourites England and 2007 champions Samoa.

The fans will be in for more excitement than ever before as the latest evolution in the 35-year history of the Hong Kong Sevens is introduced in 2010 with the introduction of a new Shield championship. The change in the competition structure will see what was the Bowl competition now become the Shield competition, and what was the Plate competition becoming the Bowl.

The winning Cup quarter-finalists will still proceed to the Cup semi-finals but the losers will now proceed to the Plate semi-finals rather than being ushered out of the tournament. In addition to still having a competition to play for the losing Plate semi-finalists have a chance to improve their position on the Series table by playing for a possible 16 points as compared to the eight points on offer under the previous scoring system.

The new structure creates three additional matches involving some of the top teams on the weekend, last years losing Cup quarter-finalists for example were Argentina, Australia, England and New Zealand. We also can look forward to an additional final which is certain to ramp up the excitement of Sevens Sunday in Hong Kong even further, said Mr Warrick Dent, Head of Commercial, Communications & Events for the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union.

Changing the Series points and the tournament structure in Hong Kong will also keep the Series competitive longer in the wake of the Hong Kong Sevens, which awards more points than any other IRB World Sevens Series events by virtue of being the only 24-team tournament on the circuit.

The 2010 Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens is expected to attract upwards of 120,000 spectators through the gates from Friday, March 26, to Sunday, March 28, at the Hong Kong Stadium.

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