Hong Kong Sevens

Sevens has a friend in (very) high places

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 March, 2008, 12:00am

The campaign to make Sevens an Olympic support has another powerful ally - Clinton Dines, the team attache for the Australians at the Beijing Olympics.

'I'd like to see the Sevens at the Olympics because it is a very athletic and dynamic sport with a huge global following and, as the Fijians and Samoans and Argentineans have shown us over the years, in seven-a-side the smaller nations have a chance to shine versus the big rugby powers,' says Queenslander Dines (pictured) who is president of BHP Billiton China.

He first attended the Sevens in 1981 and has been back 20 times.

'I remember watching when Australia won and Campo [David Campese] was first on the scene,' he says.

'The great players, established or emerging, often came to everyone's attention at the Hong Kong Sevens. Campo was magic but we also saw guys like Jonah Lomu, Christian Cullen, Joost van der Westhuizen, Phillipe Sella, and the like really shine in Hong Kong.'

This year, he's at the Sevens with Campese, who has become a good friend. 'I met David in 2002 when he came to the inaugural, and so far only, Beijing Sevens [sponsored by BHP Billiton]. He did some work coaching and promoting rugby in the schools and local teams as part of the visit.'