Aussies have Luck on their side, on and off field
It might be tradition to boo them every year, but Australians are starting to make their presence felt in Hong Kong off the pitch. It is estimated that Hong Kong is home to 60,000 Australian passport holders (Only the United Kingdom is home to more Australians living abroad). And Australia's official presence in Hong Kong is Consul General Les Luck.
'I am a recent recruit to rugby,' says Luck. 'This is only my second Sevens, but I have heard about it for years, from back when I was posted in Singapore in the late 1980s. The Sevens is an iconic event. There is no other networking event in the region like it.
'It's fast and fluid. It seems less encumbered by the technicalities of other rugby codes that seem to slow down the entertainment factor. I am torn between watching the action on and off the pitch. I am empirically living the adage of Sevens legend Eric Rush: 'When the action gets boring at the Sevens, you can always turn around and watch the rugby'.' Luck is proudly watching the outcomes of the growing numbers of Australians in Hong Kong. 'My first Sevens was also the year three of the major Australian banks - ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank - hosted a box for the first time. I constantly come across expats who moved to Hong Kong for a year or two and are still here years later.
'So many have seen the ebb and flow of the economy in their tenure here, yet they tend to thrive. I get the impression this year that the economy is on the rebound when I look around at the crowds here at this Sevens.'
As an Australian, Luck clearly can't resist the underdogs. 'I am barracking for both Australia and Hong Kong. However, what I also like about the Sevens is the fact so many of the smaller nations do really well.'