Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens to Host IRB Womens Sevens Challenge Cup

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Friday, 24 February 2012

The Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens (HKWRS) will be staged as the International Rugby Board (IRB) Womens Sevens Challenge Cup Hong Kong this year following the success of the inaugural event in Dubai in December.

The Cup Final of the HKWRS has been played in the Hong Kong Stadium as part of the mens Hong Kong Sevens since 1999, but given the expanded profile of this years womens tournament, the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012 will host four matches of the IRB Womens Sevens Challenge Cup.

The Plate Final will be played on Friday evening with the two Cup Semi Finals and the Cup Final played in between the Mens matches on Saturday at the Hong Kong Stadium.

Following a captivating and highly-competitive debut in Dubai, the stars of the womens game from 12 leading international teams representing six continents will look to pick up where they left off in Dubai when Canada were crowned champions. Canada are also the reigning champions of the Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens 2011, defeating France in last years Cup Final.

Canada return to defend their title in the invitational event in Hong Kong, and are joined by Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 Champions Australia, England, USA, Netherlands, Russia, 2016 Olympic Games hosts Brazil, 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens Bowl champions China, Hong Kong, Japan, Tunisia and Spain, who are current European Womens Sevens champions.

HKRFU Chairman Trevor Gregory commented on Hong Kongs inclusion in the IRB Womens Sevens Challenge Cup saying, The HKRFU has been a long-time supporter of the womens game, especially sevens. We can think of no better way to mark the 15th anniversary of our Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens than its inclusion in the new IRB event and we are excited to provide an international platform for even more elite womens rugby teams and matches at this years Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

Womens Rugby is one of the fastest growing forms of the sport and with the rugby family counting down to sevens debut in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the 12-team competition on 23 and 24 March will provide exceptional competition for the teams and a high-octane spectacle for what promises to be a spectacular affair in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong event is a key element in the delivery of the recently launched IRB Womens Rugby Plan which has the staging of a world-class Womens Sevens event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at its core.

Ms Ruth Mitchell, Tournament Director for the Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens and the IRB Womens Personality of the Year 2011 award winner and 2011 ARFU Womens Personality of the Year award winner, commented on this latest exciting step in the continued advancement of Womens Rugby in Hong Kong and Asia.

Becoming a part of the new IRB Womens Sevens Challenge Cup is the ideal affirmation of the continued growth of Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens, and indeed Womens Rugby throughout Asia. We are excited at the opportunity to pit some of our best Asian womens teams against the worlds best in Hong Kong. This will be an invaluable opportunity to further prepare our elite womens teams for qualification for the Olympic Games, said Mitchell.

The Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens will be played from 08:30 to 17:00 on Friday, 23 March 2012, at the Hong Kong Football Club. Admission is free.

The Plate Final will be played as part of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens at the Hong Kong Stadium at 18:12 on Friday, 23 March. The Cup Semi Finals will be played consecutively starting at 11:42 on Saturday, 24 March and the IRB Womens Sevens Challenge Cup Final will be held at 16:50 on Saturday at the Hong Kong Stadium.

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