Sports

Hong Kong get S'pore Rugby 7s wild card

The 2017 HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens will see the participation of two top Asian sides as Hong Kong were confirmed as the wildcard team.

Hong Kong, who clinched the Asia Rugby Sevens series for the second time in three years to qualify for Singapore, will line up alongside 15 other "core" teams, including Japan, in April.

Hong Kong narrowly missed out on qualifying for last August's Rio Olympics, after losing to Japan in the Asia Rugby Olympics Sevens qualifiers, and also fell short in the final repechage event in Monaco.

Earlier in April, Japan were their nemesis once more as they lost in the final of the World Sevens Series qualifier.

Since then, Hong Kong have bounced back from their triple disappointment by sweeping through the autumn Asia Rugby Sevens Series, winning three tournaments in Hong Kong, Seoul and Colombo.

NEW COACH

Finishing on top of the 2016 Asia Rugby Sevens Series means that Hong Kong are in the mix to be a core team in the 2018-2019 HSBC World Sevens Series during the World Sevens Series Qualifier at April's HSBC Hong Kong Sevens (April 7-9).

It also earned them a "wild card" to the 16-team HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens (April 15-16).

Looking forward to the Singapore Sevens is Hong Kong's elite men 7s coach Jevon Groves, who was in the Wales 7s squad that played in Singapore last April.

Last September, Groves joined Hong Kong as assistant coach under countryman Gareth Baber last year, but is now in charge after Baber left this month to replace Ben Ryan as head coach of reigning HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions Fiji.

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