Women’s invitational sevens tournament cancelled
Organisers of the Hong Kong Invitation Women's Rugby Sevens yesterday confirmed their decision to cancel this year's event following the withdrawal of a number of sides from the competition.
Dick Airth, chairman of the organising committee, said the decision of holders New Zealand to pull out had been the deciding factor.
'The withdrawal of New Zealand, last year's champions, really meant that we could not proceed and hope to stage a first-class tournament in March,' Airth said in a statement.
'We felt at this stage that it would be better to focus on a 1999 tournament, which will not conflict with any major international women's rugby events, and will hopefully see a more healthy financial environment for our sponsors and benefactors.
'Everything mitigated against us... we didn't want to be left with just a regional tournament because that wouldn't have done us any good at all. It's sad for women's rugby, but it is the right decision.'
With the women's 15-a-side World Cup scheduled for May in Holland, a number of teams decided to skip the Hong Kong event.