Dai Rees spurs squad for Japan Sevens
Hong Kong coach Dai Rees has called on his sevens squad to step up and deliver after being invited to play in the Japan Sevens, the new event on the World Series circuit.
'It's great that we will be playing in a second IRB tournament this season. But it is not enough to just say we will be figuring in two tournaments, we must go there and perform,' Rees said yesterday.
The Japan Sevens will take place in Tokyo on March 31 to April 1, the weekend following the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.
This is the first time in nearly five seasons that Hong Kong will play in two tournaments on the IRB Sevens World Series.
Hong Kong are ranked behind Japan, who, for the first time ,will be figuring in five IRB tournaments.
Japan won the Shield at the opening leg in Australia's Gold Coast last weekend.
'We have the chance to tell the IRB that Hong Kong is worth investing in more than two tournaments,' Rees said. 'We were just one point away from being ranked as No1 in Asia and it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if we were No1. Would we also have been invited to five tournaments like Japan?
'Japan is the number one 15s and sevens team in Asia and have a professional set-up.
'They are also hosts of the 2019 World Cup [15s]. The more tournaments they play, the better they will get, and it will raise their chances of qualifying for the World Cup Sevens and Olympics.'