The Hong Kong Sevens has called for the Home Unions to follow their counterparts from the Southern Hemisphere and send specialist teams to the world's best tournament next year. 'We would like to see England and other Northern Hemisphere teams do better and pose a realistic challenge for the Cup. We hope they can put together purpose-built squads for sevens,' said John Molloy, chairman of the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union and also the head of the Hong Kong Sevens organising committee. Molloy said the presence of a serious Northern Hemisphere threat next year would add another dimension to what was one of the most successful sevens in recent years. 'A strong challenge from the Home Unions would really boost the excitement further. I would also like to see Scotland and Ireland return to Hong Kong next year,' Molloy said. England and Wales carried the flag for the Home Unions this year with the young English side progressing furthest, entering the Cup quarter-finals before losing 22-7 to Fiji. The Welsh were runners-up to the United States in the Plate final, losing 31-26 in sudden death. Scotland and Ireland turned down invitations this year citing crowded domestic calendars and the lack of competitive sevens teams. The only time a Northern Hemisphere team have won the Hong Kong Sevens was way back in 1981 when the Andy Ripley-led British Barbarians defeated Australia 12-10 in the Cup final. New Zealand beat Fiji 29-5 to win their eighth title on Sunday. Fiji (nine), Australia (five), Samoa (one) and the Cantabrians (in the inaugural year in 1976) have dominated the 25 years of the Hong Kong Sevens. Fiji also won the World Cup when it was held in Hong Kong in 1997. Adrian Thompson, coach of England at last weekend's tournament, said he is confident the recent agreement between First Division clubs and their players - Premier Rugby Partnership - will bode well for the future of sevens in England as it could open the way for a group of players to be contracted solely for the shorter version of the game. Molloy also declared the 2001 Hong Kong Sevens as an unqualified success. 'I'm absolutely delighted at the outcome. This was one of the most successful tournaments in recent years,' said Molloy. In his first term as HKRFU chairman, Molloy seems to be riding on a change of fortune with the 40,000-seater Hong Kong Stadium sold out three days in advance - the first time the full-house sign went up since 1997. 'I think the fact that we sold tickets for the first time on the Internet played a big part in tickets being sold out. A lot of people found it convenient to just click on and buy their tickets. Quite a large number of these were from Hong Kong,' said Molloy. It is estimated that something in the region of 10,000 tickets were sold on the Internet. Molloy said he was delighted at the emergence of two Chinese players in the Hong Kong side that won the Bowl competition. 'I was especially pleased with the development of Ricky Cheuk, and also the sight of Ricky and Chan Fuk-ping playing together,' said Molloy. 'It was a nice send-off for [coach] Jim Rowark and the other players who are moving on.'