Pools revealed for Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2023

Pools revealed for Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2023

06 March 2023

The participating teams and pools for the Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2023 were revealed today for local fans in Hong Kong. After playing host to the HSBC World Rugby Men’s Sevens Series in a socially distanced Sevens last November, Hong Kong is back to its big and raucous best and will welcome 28 teams to the Hong Kong Stadium in a restriction-free Sevens from 31 March to 2 April 2023.

2023 marks the first time in the tournament’s 45-year history that it will host the full men’s and women’s competitions simultaneously, and the first time the event has been played twice on the same Series calendar.

Even more importantly, March will be the first time that the men’s and women’s sevens teams of Hong Kong, China have played in a World Series tournament simultaneously - doubling the anticipation for local fans.

The hosting of the World Rugby Women’s Series has been widely welcomed by the organizers and Hong Kong fans, who have supported the long-running Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens since 1997. Teams from 42 nations have competed in the Hong Kong’s Women’s Sevens over the years.

The tournament pools for 2023 were revealed to local audiences with the help of officiating guests Mr Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, Secretary of the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau of Hong Kong; Ms Luanne Lim, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Hong Kong; Mr Ronald Lam, Chief Executive Officer of Cathay Pacific Group; and Mr Chris Brooke, Chair of the Hong Kong Rugby Union at the Fullerton Hotel in Hong Kong.

A surprise announcement was also made regarding the appearance of Hong Kong pop star Joyce Cheng who will perform as part of the opening ceremony on Friday 31 March. Cheng will add to the famed Hong Kong Sevens atmosphere and is joined by internet sensations Plastic Bertrand and Korean pop star DJ Soda at the world’s biggest rugby party this March.

Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens Pools

Australia famously won on their last outing in Hong Kong, claiming a first victory here since 1988. Despite the auspicious start to the season, New Zealand and Argentina are neck and neck in the race for the top spot as the men’s tournament returns.

Argentina won the Vancouver, Canada Sevens overnight in the last tournament action before the Series winds its way across the Pacific to Hong Kong.

Argentina, France, Australia and Ireland are the top seeds in the four men’s pools (A-D). Argentina are joined by Fiji, Samoa and Canada in Pool A, while France face off with Great Britain, Uruguay and hosts Hong Kong China in the opening stages. Pool C sees Australia paired with USA, Spain and Japan in their bracket while Pool D includes New Zealand, Kenya, and South Africa alongside top seeds Ireland.

“It is going to be another tough competition, but it is fantastic for us to be a part of it. It was a great event last November, the atmosphere in the stadium was brilliant, and this is the next step. Performance-wise we just want to show that we can keep improving. It is a big occasion; last time we rose to the occasion, and showed what we are capable of, we just need to keep improving on that performance,” said Hong Kong, China sevens coach Paul John.

In the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, New Zealand rule the roost having won the last four tournaments on the trot including in Vancouver. New Zealand, Australia and USA are the top seeds in the three women’s pools.

New Zealand are joined by Canada, Great Britain and Hong Kong China in Pool A, while Australia face off with Fiji, Ireland and Brazil in the opening stages in Pool B. Pool C sees USA paired with France, Japan and Spain.

Paul John spoke about the milestone moment for the Hong Kong Rugby Union saying, “Having our women’s team involved is huge for the programme. I see how hard everyone works, the coaches, the players, the physios - everyone. So much goes into this. This is a boost for the whole programme for the girls to be a part of it in what is a very, very tough group.

“The girls are excited about it; they want to play against the best. If we can relax and enjoy it then I am sure we can show what we can do, put on a good performance, and learn as much as we can from the experience,” John added.

Men's Pool A: Argentina, Fiji, Samoa, Canada

Men's Pool B: France, Great Britain, Uruguay, Hong Kong China

Men's Pool C: Australia, USA, Spain, Japan

Men's Pool D: Ireland, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa

Women's Pool A: New Zealand, Canada, Great Britain, Hong Kong China

Women's Pool B: Australia, Fiji, Ireland, Brazil

Women's Pool C: USA, France, Japan, Spain