After reaching the final of the Borneo Sevens last weekend, attention turns to this weekend’s World Rugby Sevens Series qualifier for Hong Kong.
Having it played on home soil gives them a boost with the qualifier being played alongside the main series competition once more.
In 2018 Japan qualified for the series with victory over Germany in the final and this year Hong Kong will be aiming to follow suit and become a core team for the 2019/20 Series.
With an extended squad of 16 announced on Tuesday, Hong Kong have a raft of experience and emerging talent.
One of the more experienced members of the squad is the mercurial Jack Neville, who is excited to play in front of the home crowd.
|“It’s definitely an honour playing at home and having the crowd behind you,” said Neville.
“It’s a phenomenal experience. Running out last year and hearing the crowd really got my legs going and I can’t wait to be out there again.
“Preparation has been competitive. We’ve been training as a wider squad and being at the Borneo Sevens helped. Although a disappointing final, our consistent performances was a result of the competition in the squad and gave us some time to gel.”
Hong Kong line up in Pool E alongside Tonga, Zimbabwe and fellow Asian competitors the Philippines.
Link to the >>>>Hong Kong 7s Draw
With the Olympics just around the corner, many sides have been investing into their sevens programme meaning the qualifier tournament provides competitive drama of the highest order.
But to win the tournament and become a core team would give Neville and his team just reward for the work put in over many years.
“It would be huge for us and would validate all the work the players and coaches have put in over the years.
“As rugby players you want to test yourself against the best in the world and if we got onto the series we’d be doing that 10 times throughout the year. It would definitely help us reach that next level.”
Having won a first-ever gold at last year’s Asian Games with victory over Japan, however, spirits and experience of the big stage will be a handy reminder of what they can achieve.
And although they have a chance of qualifying for the Olympic Games later this year as the second Asian representative with Japan automatically guaranteed a spot in Tokyo as hosts, Neville insists for now, it is all about this weekend.
“Right now our focus is on the qualifier and then Singapore. I am sure the Olympic qualifier is at the back of the coaches’ minds but for us as players we’re simply trying to express ourselves now.”
Sevens Series qualifier Hong Kong squad : Sebastian Brien, Michael Coverdale, Toby Fenn, Liam Herbert, Jamie Hood, Lee Jones, Cade Lee Ka-to, Alex After reaching the final of the Borneo Sevens last weekend, attention turns to this weekend’s World Rugby Sevens Series qualifier for Hong Kong.McQeeun, Tom McQueen, Mak Kwai-chung, Raef Morrison, Jack Neville, Ben Rimene, Russell Webb, Max Woodward, Salom Yiu Kam-shing