11 Teams from 5 Continents to Play in Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens

Travel News Asia Videos Podcasts Latest Travel News Asia Friday, 7 February 2014

The following eleven national teams from five continents will be heading to Hong Kong for the 17th-annual Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens next month: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and South Africa.

Kenya will be on debut at the Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens in 2014, becoming the 37th international team to take part in the Womens Sevens, a pioneering event in international womens sevens rugby.

The tournament will be held at the Hong Kong Football Club on Friday, 28 March 2014 with the womens final again taking centre-stage at the mens Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens on Friday evening in front of 40,000 sevens fans. The Cup Final of the HKWRS has been played as part of the mens Hong Kong Sevens since 1999.

Of the participating teams, Canada and Ireland are core teams on the IRB Womens Sevens Series based on their results at the Womens Rugby World Cup Sevens in June, 2013 in Moscow, (all eight quarterfinalists at the World Cup were awarded core team status on this years Series).

2013 Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens champions Canada will be making a strong bid to defend their title after having reached the final of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in June losing to New Zealand 12-29.

A third team, Brazil, have been invited by the International Rugby Board to join all events on this years Womens World Series to help develop the game ahead of the countrys hosting of the Olympics in 2016, when sevens will make its Olympic debut.

Currently Canada lie in fourth place on the IRB Womens Sevens Series table, followed by Brazil in eighth place and Ireland in eleventh place.

The Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens will be followed by the Guangzhou Sevens, the fourth of five legs of this seasons IRB Womens Sevens Series (5-6 April 2014 at the University Town Stadium).

As always, Asia is well represented in the Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens with the hosts Hong Kong, China, Japan, Kazakhstan and Singapore all taking part. China and Japan qualified as Asias top two womens sevens sides for Moscow and are the current top-ranked teams in Asia, followed by Kazakhstan in 3rd place, Hong Kong in 4th place and Singapore in 5th place.

In Moscow, the Asian teams finished at the bottom of their respective pools making the Hong Kong Womens Sevens and the ensuing IRB tournament in Guangzhou important opportunities for improving their international standing.

At the world championships, China finished at the bottom of Pool B with losses to Australia, Ireland and South Africa, while Japan suffered losses to Russia, England and France in Pool D.

Hosts Hong Kong will enter the tournament with momentum after kicking off the professional era with Hong Kongs inclusion into the Hong Kong Sports Institute elite athletes programme. Hong Kong have already managed to collect silverware in 2014, winning the womens competition at the Darwin Sevens, including a win over the womens development sevens team in the cup final.

Ms Ruth Mitchell, Tournament Director of the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens and Director of Development for the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union, said, The Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens fills an important place on the international calendar, offering the teams going on to play in Guangzhou some high-calibre competition in the build-up to the fourth leg of the IRB Womens Sevens Series, while at the same time giving Asias top teams vital exposure to competition against some of the worlds finest womens sevens teams. Closer to home, the tournament involves girls from every level of our womens rugby community with girls rugby games and opportunities for young players to volunteer as team liaison officers, ball girls and runners. By doing so, the tournament provides an incredible opportunity for younger players in Hong Kong to experience the excitement of sevens rugby and inspiration to try to develop their game to the elite level. We also look forward to continuing our tradition of showcasing some truly world-class womens rugby to the 40,000 fans inside the Hong Kong Stadium on Friday night of the mens Seven.

The official Tournament Draw for the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens will be held at the Confucius Hall Secondary School in So Kon Po on 11 February 2014, alongside the draw for the 12-team international HSBC Sevens World Series (men) qualifying tournament taking place as part of the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens in 2014.

The 2014 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Womens Rugby Sevens will be played from 08:00 to 17:30 on Friday, 28 March at the Hong Kong Football Club. Admission is free via the Jockey Club Museum Tunnel Entrance.

HKRFU, Cathay Pacific, HSBC, Sevens, Rugby, Hong Kong

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