April 6, 2017 – 82 players will make their Hong Kong debut when they take to the field for the seventh round of this season’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tomorrow.
All but one of the Japanese squad will have their first starts in Hong Kong this weekend, while South Korea, invitational side for the weekend, can say the same.
Much of the excitement this weekend surrounds England’s Dan Norton who will become the series top try scorer if he crosses the whitewash over the weekend. The electric winger has notched up 244 tries during his career and is on course to beat Collins Injera’s record, however Injera’s selection for Kenya will make for exciting viewing over the three days as he and Norton go head-to-head to finish up top of the try scoring table.
South Africa’s Cecil Afrika will appear at his 50th tournament when he takes the field at the Hong Kong Stadium. The series leaders play in Pool B where they’ll meet Canada, Kenya and France. Australia’s Ed Jenkins and Canada’s Nathan Hirayama will also make their 50th tournament appearance over the weekend, while Hirayama could also become his team’s all time top scorer.
Fiji coach Gareth Baber returns to familiar pastures this week as his side play New Zealand, Wales and Japan in Pool C. Baber used to coach Hong Kong before he took over the Olympic Champions – and he’s looking forward to the next few days.
“We play in a high-pressure environment and the learnings as a group that you get over a period of time is really where it’s at and we all know that. We’ve been working hard on that (aspect).”
The pool stages get underway at the Hong Kong Stadium when Australia take on Gordon Tietjens’ Samoa at 6pm local time.