Korean Coach Excited by Challenger Series Rewards
The World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series kicked off in Stellenbosch with 12 teams from both the men’s and women’s leagues competing over two legs. Korea remains confident of going through to the later stages of the tournament.
The stakes are high, with the winner of the men’s competition set to enter a four-team playoff at the HSBC London Sevens, later this year. The winner of that event will then be awarded admission into the 2024 World Sevens Series.
Korean coach Myunggeun Lee is confident his young side can make a positive impact heading into the tournament and gain some invaluable experience on the international stage.
“Our players are all from army teams and universities and don’t have much experience with sevens. It is very meaningful to us to give young players a lot of experience through this tournament,” Lee said.
“The strength of our team is that the players have an attitude of wanting to learn without giving up until the end as young as they are,” he added.
The Korean coach believes that the Challenger Series presents a unique opportunity for developing sides in Asia to showcase their talents.
“Not only Korea, but all Asian countries except Japan and Hong Kong China do not participate in international competitions very often, so players cannot experience many matches. I think the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series is playing a very important role in the development of Asia Rugby because it allows you to play against various countries,” Lee said.
The Korean mentor is confident that his side won’t be overawed by the occasion.
“I hope we have the confidence that we can do it as well, and my wish is to win first,” he said.
The opening day of the tournament saw four teams remain undefeated. Hong Kong China, Germany, Uganda and Belgium guaranteed their places in the quarterfinals, scoring maximum points. Germany ran in eight tries in their opening two games while Pool B Uganda were the standouts, scoring 11 tries across their opening two games.
The men’s Challenger Series 2020 featured two rounds, both played in South America. Japan’s men gained promotion following the inaugural pair of events in 2020 and, following a year’s break due to the global pandemic, Japan women and Uruguay men won the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series 2022 to earn core status on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023.
Day 1 Results
Women Pool F: China 12 vs Thailand 0
Men Pool C: Korea 12 vs Jamacia 19
Men Pool B: Hong Kong China 25 vs PNG 5
Women Pool D: Columbia 15 vs Hong Kong China 12
Women Pool F: Belgium 19 vs Thailand 0
Women Pool F: China 46 vs PNG 0
Men Pool C: Korea 5 vs Brazil 17
Men Pool B: Hong Kong China 22 vs Italy 17
Women Pool D: Poland 31 vs Hong Kong China 0