Varty upbeat on chances for World Series core-team status
The Hong Kong sevens squad left yesterday for London, with captain Rowan Varty believing that core-team status in the HSBC Sevens World Series next season is a distinct possibility.
"This is the most important tournament we will be playing in this season, notwithstanding the World Cup in Moscow later this year, and I know we can qualify to become a core team,' he said. "We just need to play to our potential and come up with the same sort of performance we showed on the Sunday at the Hong Kong sevens."
Hong Kong defeated Argentina and the United States in reaching the Bowl quarter-finals, two teams that are regulars on the world circuit. If this can be replicated, the chances of winning one of three berths in the eight-team qualifiers at the London Sevens this weekend look good.
Scotland, Portugal and Spain all failed to reach the Cup competition at the Glasgow Sevens at the weekend and as such finished at the bottom of the standings. These three will join Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, Tonga, Russia and Georgia in the qualifying competition at Twickenham.
"We have to step up from where we finished at the Hong Kong Sevens," Varty said. "Watching the video of our games against the US and Argentina showed us that we were quite fortunate to win, especially against Argentina, who dropped the ball a couple of times, once over our line. But those errors came from the pressure we put them under.
"Yet we have to cut down our own mistakes. We are close to achieving a massive goal and I know we can do it."
The eight teams will be drawn into two groups of four. After the first day of round-robin competition, the teams will be seeded according to results for the quarter-finals stage.
"Once again it will boil down to the Sunday of the tournament," national coach Dai Rees said.
"That will be the most important game of the tournament as far as we are concerned, because if we win that we then have two bites at becoming a core team - with the winners of each semi-final assured of qualifying and leaving one more spot for the winners of the third-place play-off."
Rowan Varty (captain), Eni Gesinde, Anthony Haynes, Alex McQueen, Kwok Ka-chun, Nick Hewson, Lee Jones, Ben Rimene, Cado Lee Ka-to, Tom McQueen, Jamie Hood, Salom Yiu kam-shing, Keith Robertson, Tsang Hing-hung.