The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) is considering a hefty cut in prize money for the Hong Kong Sevens, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary next year. The HKRFU has offered prize money of US$510,000 since 1998, with a purse of US$120,000 going to the Cup Champions - Fiji on the past two occasions. But with the HKRFU facing lean times due to the economic downturn, it is understood that the booty - the biggest purse in the world of rugby - will be trimmed for the 2000 event. 'A cut in the prize money is under consideration and a decision is imminent,' said Allan Payne, HKRFU executive director, yesterday. The HKRFU's sevens committee will meet next week to decide on the cutback. 'Any cut won't be a token gesture,' added Payne, indicating that a substantial reduction is on the cards. Payne said any reduction in the prize money had nothing to do with Hong Kong's imminent entry into the World Sevens Grand Prix, but had all to do with the hard economic times. The HKRFU has recently been pruning costs across the board. One of the austerity measures was to cut its staff by almost a third in July this year. The Hong Kong Sevens is on the verge of joining the new circuit being organised by the International Rugby Board (IRB). It is believed that the world governing body will officially announce the new circuit after the ongoing Rugby World Cup ends on November 6. The New Zealand Union recently announced that Wellington would be one of 10-12 stops on the circuit, which will kick off in December with the Dubai Sevens.