Hong Kong set to Play On in 2023

Hong Kong set to Play On in 2023

07 February 2023

The world-famous Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is set to rock the city for a second time from 31 March to 2 April, 2023 at the Hong Kong Stadium. Adding to the excitement is a change in tournament name to the Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, while the men’s and women’s teams of Hong Kong China will appear side by side for the first time in an HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event.

Themed Play On!, the tournament will carry the momentum from last November’s Sevens (the first since the pandemic) on, but without the social distancing, as rugby fans across the city are set to come out and play. Players and fans from around the world will join them as Hong Kong welcomes 28 international teams, including the elite sides in women’s sevens for the first time in history.

Play On! also celebrates the spirit of resilience that rugby and Hong Kong share. After the rigors of the pandemic the SAR is ready to return to its colourful, fast-paced international self - as is the Sevens, one of world sport’s true bucket list events.

The Sevens is also celebrating rugby inclusivity, with a focus on the diverse communities that make up the game in Hong Kong and abroad, from word-class female athletes to rugby for those with physical or mental impairments.

Hong Kong Rugby Union Chairman Chris Brooke welcomed the return of the Sevens to its traditional spring window saying, “Our last Sevens in November was focused squarely on our city and community as we emerged from the trials of the pandemic. We are proud to have helped set a precedent for the safe return of mass events to Hong Kong and we remain eternally grateful to our supporters and those who stood by us through very challenging times, particularly our co-title sponsors Cathay and HSBC.

“Today, we are excited to look ahead and remind the city and the rugby world why Hong Kong is the jewel-in-the-crown of world sevens. We look forward to welcoming the world back to Hong Kong as we Play On! in 2023,” added Mr Brooke.

Eleven women’s teams will participate alongside Hong Kong, China, making their first playing appearance at the Sevens. The women’s teams are reigning series champions Australia; Brazil; Canada; Fiji; France; Great Britain; Ireland; Japan; New Zealand; Spain; the United States of America; and Hong Kong, China.

The Hong Kong Rugby Union has hosted the trailblazing Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens since 1997, (welcoming many of the teams on today’s World Series), and is excited to be playing host to a full complement of teams alongside the stars of the men’s game. That also brings an important opportunity for Hong Kong’s women’s rugby sevens players to feature inside the tournament.

“There are no words to express how important this is for us,” said Melody Li Nim-yan, co-captain of the Hong Kong, China Women’s Sevens squad, adding that, “We are excited to play against the best players in the world and we look forward to testing our mettle against the top teams in world sevens,” added Li.

The excitement was shared by Chan Leong-sze, a women’s rugby legend in Hong Kong and former captain of the women’s sevens and fifteens teams, and the first ethnic Chinese coach of a Hong Kong XVs team in HKRU history.

“Visibility is essential. There is a long history of young boys joining rugby after watching their heroes play in the stadium and we expect a similar effect from having our women’s team represented on sevens weekend. The prospect of thousands of girls watching the best women’s rugby on the planet on such a memorable stage is exciting, and the inclusion of a full women’s tournament is great reward for Hong Kong’s contribution to women’s sevens,” Chan added.

After thrilling the crowd once again in November, the 15 top men’s teams in the world will also return to battle it out with hosts Hong Kong, China. Those teams are defending champions Australia, celebrating their first Hong Kong cup since the 1980s; Argentina; Canada; Fiji; France; Great Britain; Ireland; Japan; Kenya; New Zealand; Samoa; Spain; South Africa; United States of America and Uruguay.

With three days of rugby, revelry, music and food and drink, the Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is set to rock the city in 2023. Full food and beverage service will be offered with all stadium concessions open and in-seat and in-box consumption allowed.

Public ticketing for the 2023 Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens will open this week. Punters are encouraged to sign up for the digital newsletter on our homepage to enjoy a 24-hour advance purchasing window before general sales begin on 9 February 2023.

“We are excited to be returning a full bells and whistles Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens at the end of March,” said Robbie McRobbie, HKRU Chief Executive.

“We made significant inroads in developing new audiences locally in our November event and look forward to welcoming our rugby friends from around the world back this spring as we ‘Play On’ in Hong Kong,” added McRobbie.