World Rugby Sevens: Hong Kong tournament to return after three-year absence

Date published: July 30 2022 - Colin Newboult

The Hong Kong Sevens tournament will make its return to the World Rugby Sevens Series after an approval was given from the government.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions imposed over the past couple of years, the event has not taken place since 2019.

“After three-and-a-half years without a Sevens, I am confident this will be a very special event… I am delighted to be able to once again tell the world – see you at the Sevens!” Hong Kong Rugby Union chairman Patrick Donovan said.

“We will continue to consult with government and the event will be delivered in compliance with the prevailing Covid measures in place at the time.”

Strict Covid regulations

It will be held from November 4-6, while further details, such as ticket information, will be announced in due course.

Hong Kong has some of the strictest Covid regulations in the world but that has significantly hampered their economy.

Business leaders are hoping to see an easing of restrictions, with mandatory hotel quarantine and flight suspensions still in place.

“Hopefully, together with the international business leaders forum and the fintech conference and all the other good stuff that is in the works for November this will send an important message,” Hong Kong Rugby Union CEO Robbie McRobbie said.

“We’ll now be sitting down with the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau and Centre for Health Protection and thrashing out those details, exactly how this all works.

“We’ve got an enviable track record of knocking it out of the park when it comes to putting on world-class events and I’ve no doubt we’ll do it.”

Limiting crowd numbers

There will still be restrictions for the upcoming event with the crowd capped at 85 per cent, while it is unclear how many international travellers will be able to attend.

However, McRobbie hopes that the competition can provide a significant boost to Hong Kong.

“We are much more than just the Sevens, but the Sevens is very much at the heart of our reputation, of our brand, of our spirit,” he added.

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