‘Kind’ draw to help pave way for Hong Kong in World Rugby Sevens Series Qualifier

‘Kind’ draw to help pave way for Hong Kong in World Rugby Sevens Series Qualifier


Hong Kong sevens men’s coach Gareth Baber and women’s coach Anna Richards at the official draw for the Hong Kong Sevens.
Photo: Felix Wong/SCMP


New Zealand's Kurt Baker celebrates a try during their victory over South Africa in the final at the Vancouver tournament in the World Sevens Series.
Photo: AP


American entertainer David Hasselhoff is heading for Hong Kong as a drawcard for the Hong Kong Sevens.
Photo: AP

The draw was made on Monday night for the World Rugby Sevens Series Qualifier.

This year’s event, held as part of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, has pitted Gareth Baber’s (coach of the Hong Kong team) squad against Zimbabwe, Germany and newcomers Cayman Islands in pool E.

But fate has once again been kind and Hong Kong have it all to play for come the weekend of April 8-10.

“The main lesson learned from that experience [in November] is that we’ve come a long way,” said Baber.

"We’ve got a more mature group of players now and I think they are able to play at a higher level of competition. We need more exposure to that higher level but we are getting there.



Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series official draw result. #hk7s

A photo posted by Hong Kong Rugby Sevens (@hksevens) on


“We want to get ourselves into the World Sevens Series as do a group of other teams. It’s become tougher but it should be. We know a little bit about Zimbabwe. They hung around at the edge of the world series, like us.”

The Hong Kong coach warned Germany had shown during a recent Central Coast tournament in Australia that they had a flash of quality about them but he admitted the Cayman Islanders remained a mystery.

“It’s a draw that shows how close things are,” said Baber. “But that’s what you want. You want to test yourself and you never know what’s going to happen over there with Japan.

"Tonga can be there one day and not the next. You really just never know what you’re going to get. But we’ve got a job to do on day and that’s where it will all begin.”

The main draw looked to add another chapter to the mystery that is this year’s HSBC World Sevens Series.



Cathay Pacific/ HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2016 World Rugby Sevens Series Qualifier Official Draw result. #hk7s

A photo posted by Hong Kong Rugby Sevens (@hksevens) on


There’s just two points separating the top three teams after New Zealand beat South Africa 19-14 to win the Vancouver leg in the early hours of Monday (Hong Kong time).

That result left Fiji leading on 106 points, with South Africa on 105 and the charging Kiwis in third on 104 after capturing their third tournament of the season in Canada.

Fiji would be happy enough with Wales, Canada and South Korea in pool D, while New Zealand face the enigmatic duo of Samoa and France along with Kenya in the early clashes.

South Africa might be looking to the heavens and wondering why, though, after they were drawn with Scotland, England and Russia.

The figure of David Hasselhoff is looming large over this year’s edition of the city’s premier sporting event – he is here to kick things off with a party on the Wednesday night.

And the American entertainer grabbed everyone’s attention at the end of proceedings, vowing he’s one man who will go the distance. “The Hoff is coming,” he said. “And the Hoff wants to play.”

Take that as a challenge issued.



HK Women's Rugby Sevens Official Draw result. #hk7s

A photo posted by Hong Kong Rugby Sevens (@hksevens) on



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