Heat is on Jamie Hood’s squad to leave Asian series rivals in the dust
The heat is on Jamie Hood and his side at the second leg of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series in Thailand this weekend with the International Rugby Board declaring that only the top two teams at the end of the four-leg series will qualify to play in the Hong Kong Sevens next March.
Hong Kong are second in the standings, behind Japan, but with South Korea, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Malaysia all breathing down their necks.
"Only the top two teams in the Asian Sevens Series will qualify for the 12-team qualifying tournament. I'm confident we can do it," said Trevor Gregory, Hong Kong Rugby Football Union chairman.
Gregory said Hong Kong were in no danger of missing out on their own party next March with the IRB assuring the team of a place in the 16-team core competition, even if they fail to make the qualifying competition.
Hong Kong were beaten 14-10 by Japan in the final of the opening leg of the series in Malaysia earlier this month. Hong Kong, back to full strength with the return of four players including Rowan Varty and Salom Yiu Kam-shing who missed the last leg due to being on duty at the National Games in Liaoning, are pooled with China and Thailand in the preliminary round.
"We know the importance of being in the top two and I'm confident we will be able to accomplish that. But the immediate target is to win the Thailand tournament," said coach Dai Rees.