Five women's teams will warm up in Hong Kong for Guangzhou sevens series
Five core teams on the International Rugby Board's Women's Sevens Series will stop over in Hong Kong on their way to play in the third leg in Guangzhou at the end of this month.
Australia, the United States, Canada, South Africa and the Netherlands will feature in the Hong Kong Women's Sevens on March 22, using it as a build-up for the landmark event at the Guangzhou University Town stadium, which was built for the 2010 Asian Games.
"Apart from these core teams, we will also have China and Ireland in the line-up, both of whom will also be playing in Guangzhou," said Robbie McRobbie, head of operations with the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union.
"A total of 12 teams will take part, all national sides barring one, an international select team comprising players from the rest of the visiting sides after Fiji pulled out at the last minute," he said.
Hosts Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, Singapore and France make up the rest of the competition, which will be played at Hong Kong Football Club. The Cup final will be played at Hong Kong Stadium on the opening night of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.
Australia will be the leading team on show in Hong Kong. They are ranked second in the world standings behind leaders New Zealand (34) and ahead of England (28). New Zealand won the opening leg of the four-leg series in Dubai, while England claimed the second leg in Houston. It is believed both New Zealand and England turned down the opportunity to play in the warm-up in Hong Kong.