ENGLAND, the world champions of excuses for not coming to the Hongkong Sevens, are now surely the boys who just can't say ''no''. After their unexpected but thoroughly deserved success at the first Rugby World Cup Sevens in Scotland last Sunday, the big question is: will the powers that be at Twickers finally accept the Hongkong Rugby Football Union's invitation to play in the Sevens? In previous years, when Five Nations rivals Wales, France, Scotland and Ireland have all turned up in Hongkong, England have stayed away, claiming the Hongkong Sevens fall at a bad time of the season - too close to the Five Nations Championship and to theclimax of their domestic programme. Where this argument has fallen down, though, is that it has not stopped the likes of Will Carling, Jeremy Guscott, Rob Andrew, Brian Moore, Peter Winterbottom, Mickey Skinner and Ian Hunter all playing for the Barbarians in Hongkong in recent seasons. But now, having won the World Sevens with a team assembled from outside the Five Nations squad, England have proved they cannot only compete with the best but also beat the best. As the official world champions of sevens rugby, England should now join the party and take their place alongside the sport's superpowers in Hongkong. If Hongkong is good enough for New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, it's good enough for England - and England, clearly, are good enough for Hongkong. The players who were written off before the World Sevens proved everyone wrong and now deserve the chance to put their reputation on the line in Hongkong. All right, Carling and Guscott and the rest of the Five Nations stars may be missing, but England's 10-man Murrayfield squad produced new rugby heroes in Andrew Harriman, Chris Sheasby, David Scully, Lawrence Dallaglio, Tim Rodber and Nick Beal. These are the stars of sevens rugby - just like Waisale Serevi and Mesake Rasari of Fiji and like Eric Rush, Dallas Seymour and Glen Osborne of New Zealand. Outside their own rugby communities, who would have heard of these players - and many more - had it not been for the Hongkong Sevens? Come on England, do the right thing and accept Hongkong's invitation. There can be no more excuses - and, by all accounts, there will be no more invitations after this one. Hell hath no fury like taskmaster Bill BEEN there, done that, got the T-shirt. In the case of the Hongkong swimming team, they've been to hell and back under the eye of head coach Bill Sweetenham. The no-nonsense Aussie took the opportunity of the recent school holidays to put his kids through their paces in what he affectionately described as ''Hell Week''. For the swimmers it meant a target of 100 kilometres in 10 sessions - or 200 lengths at a time of an Olympic-sized 50-metre pool. Explaining the aim of ''Hell Week'', Bill said: ''It toughens them up mentally and physically and brings them together as a team. ''When they reach their target they have a sense of achievement and know that what follows, from an endurance training point of view, cannot be harder. ''To celebrate the end of Hell Week I'm getting some T-shirts printed saying 'I've Been To Hell And Back' - and they can wear them with pride.'' After an Easter holiday like that, the swimmers must have been glad to get back in the classroom. Torquay delights beckon once more HONGKONG Saturday League side Craigengower Cricket Club are on the march again for their sixth international tour since 1982. The destination - surprise, surprise - is Torquay, in southwest England that has hosted CCC on four of their previous five tours. The exception was in 1990 when they visited South Africa. CCC regular Rod Miles, who is putting together the eight-match July tour from the Hongkong end, said: ''A sign of the tour's popularity is that more than 11 of the people who first toured in 1982 will be there in 1993. ''We only settled on Torquay in February this year and most of the teams we are playing have changed their schedules to fit us in. ''Winning off the field is as important as winning on the field and in this area CCC have built a formidable reputation. ''Although a few wins will undoubtedly come our way, the main focus is for everyone to enjoy a great week's cricket and reunite with friends from the past.'' The biggest tribute to CCC is that Babbacombe Cricket Club will begin their 100th anniversary celebrations three days early with a game against Craigengower on Friday, July 9. Babbacombe's ground is actually a bowl, with the boundaries higher than the wicket. If a four doesn't quite make it, the ball has been known to roll back down the slope and on to the square, trapping batsmen in mid-wicket. Sports Person of the Week: Pete Sampras. The world number one proved to be a marvellous ambassador for his sport during the Hongkong Salem Open and won a gripping final against Jim Courier in one of the highlights of this - or any - sporting year in theterritory. Sports Quote of the Week: ''With tennis picking up in the Asia region I would love China to be part of it. I really think tennis can take a boom in China - and this tournament can be a great start'' - Michael Chang, after announcing he would be playing inthe first ATP Tour event to be held in Beijing, in October.