Rugby will be only part of the action at this weekend's Beach Fives event, which is an appetiser of sorts for the Hong Kong Sevens a week from now.
'The idea of this event is so it can appeal to people who may not be fans of rugby,' said Damien McDowell, one of the organisers. 'There's going to be a tournament village with a DJ, a volleyball tournament on the side and a camp for teens to learn how to play rugby,' McDowell said. 'The rugby games won't be too serious; it'll be a great lead-up to the actual Sevens.'
The inaugural Hong Kong Beach Fives, billed as Asia's biggest beach rugby tournament, is a free-entry, two-day event backed by budget airline AirAsia. It will feature 32 rugby teams (24 men's teams and eight women's teams) made up of amateur rugby enthusiasts, facing off in 20-minute games.
'Five-a-side rugby is shorter, faster and more dynamic because there are fewer players on the field,' McDowell said. An extra draw for sports fans will be the appearance of former rugby stars Australian David Campese and New Zealand's Christian Cullen, who are taking part in Saturday's marquee match-up.
The volleyball matches will feature May Wong Yuen-mei and Cat Ng Tin-lai, Hong Kong's two top female players.
The event runs from 10am to 6pm tomorrow and on Sunday at Repulse Bay beach.