Rugby’s top 4 try scorers unite for first time ever in Hong Kong
30 March, 2019 by HKFCBACK TO NEWS
The Hong Kong Rugby Union is proud to announce the members of its Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens Ambassador team for 2019. Legends from the fifteen-a-side and seven-a-side game are lining up for the Sevens, which will unite for the first time ever the top four try scorers in World Rugby history on pitch over the weekend (5-7 April).
HKRU Sevens Ambassadors Daisuke Ohata, David Campese and Shane Williams will be joined by HSBC Ambassador Bryan Habana, in being recognised on pitch at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, marking the first occasion that all four of rugby’s most prolific try scorers will be gathered in a single place.
Each has a history with sevens, with the world’s top try scorer Ohata scoring one of the all-time great tries at the Sevens in an end to end run to beat Scotland at the buzzer to win the plate here in 1999. Ohata had an incredible strike rate of 69 tries from 58 tests for Japan and played in the 1999 and 2003 Rugby World Cups and at the 1997 and 2001 Rugby World Cup Sevens.
Habana started his career at sevens, playing for South Africa on the 2004 series before joining the Springboks the next season, a year in which he would receive the first of three South African Player of the Year Awards (winning again in 2007 and 2012). He was named World Rugby player of the year in 2007 and boasts 67 tries from 124 tests.
One of the all time greats inextricably linked with the Hong Kong Sevens, David ‘Campo’ Campese thrilled the crowds here on 12 occasions, helping to fuel Australia’s historic run during the 1980s, when they won four cups in seven years. His famed goosestep left fans in Hong Kong speechless and flummoxed defenders worldwide, with Campo notching 64 ties from 101 tests for the Wallabies. He is a Member of the Order of Australia and an inductee into the World Ruby Hall of Fame.
Shane Williams, MBE, lit up the scoreboards for Wales and the British & Irish Lions, scoring 60 tries from 91 occasions. He is Wales’ most capped winger and appeared in three World Cups and won two Grand Slam, and earned four Lions caps across three tours. In 2008, he was named World Rugby Player of the Year and is an inductee into the World Rugby Hall of Fame.
Boasting her own try-scoring prowess this weekend is fellow Hong Kong Sevens Ambassador, New Zealand’s Portia Woodman, the top try scorer in World Series history (195). Rugby World Cup winner Woodman has been named both World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year (2015) and World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year (2017).
Other rugby legends lining up to support the Sevens include trans-Tasman stars Drew Mitchell and Josh Kronfeld. Mitchell, winner of 71 caps and a veteran of three World Cups, is Australia’s leading try scorer at the World Championship and a winner of a French Top 14 title and two European Cups. Kiwi flanker Josh Kronfeld brings 54 test caps to the team, including two Rugby World Cup appearances in 1995 and 1999. His club career included stints with Otago, the Highlanders and Leicester Tigers where he won the European Cup.
England Fly-half Andy Goode played more than 400 games and scored over 3,000 points for clubs in England, France and South Africa. He represented England 17 times between 2005 and 2009, scoring 107 points, and is the second highest scorer all time in Premiership Rugby and the winner of five Premiership titles.
Gentle giant Jim Hamilton became Scotland’s 1000th test player when he made his debut as a 23-year-old in 2006. ‘Big’ Jim amassed 63 caps over a 15-year career, playing in the 2007 and 2011 World Cups, and for the Barbarians against the Lions in Hong Kong in 2013. Hamilton, whose grandmother is Chinese and whose mother was born here, is also a global ambassador for the Hong Kong Rugby Union Community Foundation.
The team will be out and about in the lead-up to the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, engaging in numerous community coaching clinics and charitable engagements during the world-famous Rugby Week in Hong Kong.
The HKRU’s Ambassadors are only the tip of the iceberg of rugby and sporting legends attending the Sevens as charitable representatives or corporate guests.
Laureus Sport For Good, the official charity of the Hong Kong Sevens, is bringing rugby legends including former All Blacks hooker and Laureus Academy Chairman Sean Fitzpatrick and Academy Members Michael Johnson and gymnast Li Xiaopeng. Johnson and Li hold nine Olympic gold medals between them. Nolli Waterman, who holds the all time try mark for England Women is also joining the Laureus campaign in Hong Kong. Appearing on behalf of HSBC are rugby greats Bryan Habana, Brian O’Driscoll, George Gregan and Ben Ryan. Other legends in town include All Black legend Sir John Kirwan, Sir Ian McGeechan, Michael Lynagh, Gavin Hastings, Mat Giteau, Simon Shaw, Rob Vickerman, Jason Leonard, Lawrence Dallaglio, Frank Bunce and Ben Golling among others.
The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is proud of being an “M” Mark event that helps enhance the image of Hong Kong as Asia’s sports event capital. The “M” Mark awarded by the Major Sports Events Committee, symbolising intense, spectacular and signature event in the territory sports calendar.