Hong Kong facing tough fight to host World Cup
Hong Kong will face stiff competition in the race to host the last World Cup Sevens in 2013 with seven other unions chasing the showcase.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) has received formal expressions of interest from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Russia, Scotland and the United States.
'The International Rugby Board is delighted with the phenomenal level of interest in hosting Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013,' Rugby World Cup chairman Bernard Lapasset, who is also the IRB chairman, said.
Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) officials want to bring back the World Cup for its hurrah. With rugby sevens back in the Olympics - from the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro - the IRB said the quadrennial World Cup would be scrapped after 2013.
'It is good to see that non-traditional rugby countries like Brazil and Russia also expressing an interest,' Warrick Dent, HKRFU head of commercial, communications and events, said. 'But it doesn't necessarily mean we will be up against sevens challengers for, as has happened in the past, not all unions will submit an official tender bid. We are now waiting for the official tender documents before taking the next step.'
Tendering unions have been asked to follow the same format as this year's tournament, the fifth edition, held in Dubai in March, with 24 men's and 16 women's teams (the inaugural women's World Cup) competing over two or three days.
Hong Kong has twice hosted the World Cup - in 1997 and 2005.