Rugby World Cup Sevens

SAR bidding to host Asia qualifiers for World Cup Sevens

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 January, 2008, 12:00am

Hong Kong will be looking for home-ground advantage as they present a bid to host the Asian qualifying tournaments for the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens in late September.

The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union has put a proposal to the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) to hold the men's and women's events at King's Park - which will decide Asia's teams at the 5th RWC Sevens for men and the inaugural women's World Cup in Dubai next March.

'We have made a bid to host the men's and women's qualifiers some time in late September. I know Doha [Qatar] has also made a bid ... but we are pretty confident we will win the bid,' said Allan Payne, HKRFU executive director.

The ARFU executive committee, which will meet in Hong Kong next Saturday, will recommend which city should host the tournaments.

Hong Kong officials are confident King's Park will provide the perfect venue. But it is understood the Arabian Gulf - the host union for the 2009 World Cup Sevens - wants to have a test run and will make a strong pitch to host the qualifiers in Doha.

The Arabian Gulf gets a berth in the finals as host, leaving only two spots for Asia in the 24-team World Cup.

Hong Kong, who have taken part in every World Cup Sevens, will be chasing one of those two places.

'We will have to reach the finals to achieve this. I believe we have the team to do this,' Payne said.

Japan, South Korea, China, Sri Lanka and Taiwan are among those chasing the two spots.