Hong Kong Sevens

England in line to host sevens final

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 March, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 March, 2000, 12:00am

The International Rugby Board could include England in the inaugural World Sevens Series by giving the Rugby Football Union the final leg of the competition in July at Twickenham.

It is understood the IRB and the RFU have been talking and a decision will soon be made to rope in England for the Series, which on Sunday completed its eighth leg with the Hong Kong Sevens.

'I know there have been talks between the IRB and the RFU about this issue,' said Budge Rogers, manager of the England team who finished in the Cup semi-finals in Hong Kong.

England made their debut at the World Sevens Series in Hong Kong. There have been calls from players as well as officials, including such a notable as England 15-a-side coach Clive Woodward, for the RFU to include a team in the World Sevens Series.

'I think it will happen,' said Rogers. 'Fran Cotton of Club England is also a keen advocate.' Fiji captain Waisale Serevi also gave a hint that the finale of the inaugural series would be at Twickenham.

During his post-match interview after the Silver Sevens Cup final, Serevi revealed that although the 31-5 New Zealand victory had thrown open the series, Fiji would still prevail.

'We still have Tokyo, Paris and the UK to go,' said Serevi giving an indication that England would host the finale.

The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union has been given the guarantee that the Hong Kong Sevens will be part of the series for the next three years.

Hong Kong have been forced to make wholesale changes to the squad who entered the Plate semi-finals on Sunday as they look ahead to the Tokyo Sevens, the ninth leg of the World Sevens Series this weekend.

Skipper Paul Dingley will be missing because he is getting married. Valley teammate Rodney McIntosh will be at the wedding, while Chris Gordon, Carl Murray and Isi Tu'ivai have work commitments. Mark Solomon is injured.

'Paul made all his wedding arrangements a long time ago and could not change the dates,' said HKRFU official Bob Brown. Among those in line for a call-up are Jon Clarke, Roman Law and Rory Dixon.