Fun and Olympic Games | South China Morning Post
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  • Mar 6, 2015
  • Updated: 10:22am

Fun and Olympic Games

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 March, 2010, 12:00am

Every year as Hong Kong touches down to Sevens, the former players come out to play, and so do the fans from the far corners of the globe. But it's not just rugby's elder statesmen, current players and fans who flock to Hong Kong this week. In town will be the performer who prompted Elvis Presley to say: 'He's the only man who's ever come anywhere close to the way I sing.' Welsh crooner Tom Jones will be appearing at the Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday night. Jones is not the only Welshman to grace our fair shores. Welsh dual code rugby great Jonathan Davies is on the speaking circuit this week, as is Gareth Edwards, CBE. Bringing banter and good cheer to the myriad of lunches and dinners are former All Black captain Sean Fitzpatrick and Australia's most capped fullback, Matthew Burke. From the northern hemisphere, John Bentley, another union and league international for England, and Doddie Weir, who won 61 caps for Scotland, will also be setting the Sevens mood. South African rugby commentating institution Hugh Bladen and Fox Sports presenter Luke Elvy are making appearances, too. Robby Nimmo reports

Deutsche Bank Valley Sevens Long Lunch

Since 1996, this event has been the pre-rugby irreverent refuge of Hong Kong's corporates, particularly in the banking world. The banter in the marquees across the road at the Indian Recreation Club also attracts past and present rugby greats. This year's speakers include former Irish star Paul Wallace and Jonathan Davies. The MC is John Bentley.

When: Friday, March 26

Where: Indian Recreation Club, across the road from the stadium

Time: 12.15pm

Cost: HK$1,500 per person

Dress: Business

Contact: enquiries@ironmongerevents.com

Italian job

During the Sevens, the boys are not the only the ones having all the fun. The Italian national sevens squad will be strutting their stuff on the catwalk semi clad. Last year at this event, the Jamaican players were parading in their underwear, so women should be prepared for a case of 'pervature of the spine'. There will also be topless waiters serving cocktails and treats, a bachelor auction, a Bliss Spa treatment area, a kissing booth, plus free coach transport from Central.

When: Wednesday, March 24

Where: The W Hotel - 6th Floor Living Room

Time: 8pm - late

Cost: HK$298 in advance/HK$350 on the door

Dress: Best to don more than the team and waiters. Bling's the thing, or smart casual

Contact: 3717-2222. Email: livingroom.hk@whotels.com

French elegance

The French team will be in full sartorial elegance, kitted out in the ubiquitous apres rugby wear label, Eden Park. The label was established by former French players Franck Mesnel and Eric Blanc.

When: Tuesday, March 23

Where: Eden Park, 301-302 Lee Gardens, Causeway Bay

Time: 5.30pm-7.30pm

Dress: Take a leaf from the French, use your loaf (or baguette), and wear your most stylish smart casual. Pink berets and bow-ties optional

Contact: Shirley Chan, 2371-6600

Note: Space is limited

Welsh crooners

The St David's Society of Hong Kong will be waving their leeks and dragons and cranking up thehwyl (Welsh for craic), singing songs by Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Duffy, Shakin' Stevens and living up to Welshman Vernon Watkin's adage that 'Wales should be proud of being the humblest country in the world'. Says society president and Herbert Smith partner Gareth Thomas: 'We'll be welcoming the Welsh Sevens squad and the Cardiff University Tens squad, and possibly the Samurai, who are coming to the Tens this year in honour of the late Welsh Sevens coach, Colin Hillman. Our function is the perfect place to meet before the Tom Jones concert on the same night.'

When: Wednesday, March 24

Where: First floor Delaney's, One Capital Place, 18 Luard Road, Wan Chai

Time: 6pm

Cost: Free, St David Society members are entitled to discounts on Delaney's food and beverage

Dress: Dragons are de rigeur, but not mandatory; spare bra to throw at Tom Jones optional

Contact: gareth.thomas@herbertsmith.com

South African rendezvous

Making a departure from the former Springbok players who have appeared in recent years such as Kobus Weise, Francois Pienaar and Bobby Skinstad, Sasol, South African Airways and the Southern African Association of Hong Kong have this year opted for commentator Hugh Bladen to dish out rugby wit and wisdom.

When: Wednesday, March 24

Where: Hong Kong Football Club, Happy Valley

Time: 6pm for 7pm dinner

Cost: HK$600 per person or HK$8,000 per table, which includes a South African Sevens team player

Dress: Smart casual or apres office

Contact: Bruce Fowler (bfowler@pacific.net.hk)

Munch with Australians

The annual Austcham Commonwealth Bank Rugby lunch will feature Matthew Burke, Sean Fitzpatrick, Jonathan Davies and Luke Elvy.

When: Thursday, March 25

Where: Ballroom, Level 5, Island Shangri-La, Pacific Place

Time: Noon registration and cocktails, 12.30pm lunch

Cost: Members HK$1,288, non members HK$1,998; tables from HK$15,888 to HK$18,888

Dress: Business

Contact: 2522-5054, austcham@austcham.com.hk

Canadian bid

The Great Canadian Rugby Sevens Lunch held by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce will have an auction over lunch to raise money for the Canadian Rugby Foundation.

When: Thursday, March 25

Where: Watermark Restaurant, Shop L, Level P, Central Pier 7, Central Star Ferry terminal

Time: 12pm-3pm

Cost: HK$888 for members, HK$988 for non members, corporate tables of 12, HK$12,000. Includes lunch with unlimited drinks (no spirits)

Dress: Business attire or smart casual

Contact: Cynthia Szeto, 2110-8711

Cricketers' bash

The Hong Kong Cricket Club's annual Sevens dinner will feature two of the world's rugby greats, Sean Fitzpatrick and Gareth Edwards.

When: Thursday, March 25

Where: Aberdeen Marina Club

Time: 7.45pm

Cost: HK$999 for HKCC/rugby section members, HK$1,200 for non members. Table of 12 for members, HK$11,400; or HK$13,200 for non-members

Dress: Black tie or national dress

Contact: Tony Falso at HKCCsevensdinner@me.com

Auction Australia

The Australian Association of Hong Kong 2010 Sevens drinks party will feature the Australian sevens team. Two Sevens tickets will be auctioned.

When: Wednesday, March 24

Where: Wooloomooloo, G/F Onfem Tower, 29 Wyndham St, Central

Time: 7pm-9pm

Cost: HK$320 members, HK$370 non-members, includes canapes and full open bar

Dress: Business or smart casual

Contact: office@ozhongkong.com

New Zealand unity

The New Zealand Society of Hong Kong welcomes back the reigning Hong Kong Football Club Tens champions, the New Zealand Aliens, and coach Willie Lose (former Tongan International team captain, now a TV and radio personality). Says society president Travis Pittman: 'We will be supporting the players and officials as they embark on a crusade to defend their title.'

When: Tuesday, March 23

Where: New Zealand Focus, 3/F, Island building, 439-445 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay

Time: 6.30pm-9pm

Cost: HK$250 members, HK$300 non-members, HK$50 children under 16, includes finger food buffet, New Zealand beer and wine, soft drinks and juices

Dress: Business or smart casual

Contact: nikki@nzshk.org

Fijian feast

In Fiji, they declare a national holiday every year to commemorate the fact they have won more Hong Kong Sevens titles than any other nation (12 times, including the two World Cups in Hong Kong in 1997 and 2005). Mingle with the Sevens titans and give the Fijian team welcome of 'bulla' Hong Kong style. Enter the raffle for a signed Fijian Rugby Union ball. The team will perform the Fijian kava.

When: Sunday, March 28

Where: Red SoHo, 2/F Kinwick Centre, 32 Hollywood Road, Central

Time: 8pm-10pm

Cost: HK$300 includes open bar and canapes

Dress: Casual, apres sevens gear

Contact: 8199-8189

Scrum down with England

England have dominated the Sevens in the past decade, winning in three consecutive years from 2002 and again in 2006. Here's your chance to support the squad this year.

When: Tuesday, March 23

Where: Red SoHo, 2/F Kinwick Centre, 32 Hollywood Road, Central

Time: 6.30pm-9pm

Cost: HK$$400, includes open bar and canapes

Dress: Casual

Contact: 8199-8189

Curry favour with the Brits

The annual KPMG Britcham dinner draws celebrity speakers for a night of rugby irreverence, with a charity auction. Speakers are former Scottish International and British Lion Doddie Weir and comedian Josh Daniels. MC is John Bentley, plus a mystery guest.

When: Thursday, March 25

Where: Hong Kong Football Club main restaurant

Time: 8pm-midnight

Cost: Tables sold out, some individual seats for members and non members at HK$750 (members), HK$850 (non members), includes curry buffet and drinks all night.

Dress: Rugby shirts rule

Contact: Becky Roberts, 2824 2217, or becky@britcham.com

Kowloon RugbyFest

Head over to 'the dark side' for a great day of rugby at King's Park (a 10-minute walk from Jordan MTR). From 10am, watch Tens teams including the Rwanda national team, Hamilton Dynamiters from South Africa, the Macho Macho Men, the West Yorkshire Police Nomads, NSW Crows, the Harlequins Gentlemen, Macau RFC and the China Barbarians. Entry is free. The day includes a clinic from 11am-1pm at King's Park for inProjects Kowloon RFC minis, Kowloon Lions colts, Australian International School and KGV School. Rugby legends showing their skills include Gareth Edwards, Jonathan Davies, David Campese, Sean Fitzpatrick, John Bentley and Doddie Weir.

Then after the whistle blows at 5.30pm, head to the official tournament dinner, which features Weir and Bentley with commentator Jed Thian and comedian Josh Daniels.

When: Wednesday, March 24

Where: The Quarterdeck Club, Fenwick Pier, Wan Chai

Time: 8pm-midnight

Cost: HK$11,000 per corporate table of 12 inclusive of all food, drinks and entertainment

Dress: Your favourite rugby shirt

Contact: Ben Harris, 9182-0401

Try the appetiser

Tune into the 25th anniversary of the world's most famous Tens tournament at the GFI HKFC Tens as former and future greats get ready for Sevens weekend in smashing style. To commemorate its anniversary, the HKFC Tens will throw open its doors free to the public from 10am on Wednesday, March 24. Public entry through the Happy Valley entrance at Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Details: www.hongkongtens.com.

After all the Ten-sion

Breaking away from the usual black-tie dinner with a speaker in the months prior to the Sevens and the closed-shop VIP and players' dinner after the Tens, this year a dinner will be held for all rugby fans. Fijian Sevens legend Waisale Serevi (the big drawcard on the Tens pitch this year) will conduct a Q&A.

When: Thursday, March 25

Where: Hong Kong Football Club

Time: Straight after the Cup final - about 8.30pm

Cost: HK$300

Dress code: Casual

Contact: Laxton Marketing, 3579-8088

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