WALES, the first Home Union to send a national side to the Hong Kong Sevens, have turned down an invitation to next year's event. Their absence means that only two of the four British Isles countries, Scotland and Ireland, will be present at the tournament, on March 26-27 at the Hong Kong Stadium. A spokesman for the Welsh Rugby Football Union said the Hong Kong event is too soon after their Five Nations clash against England, which takes place the week before the Sevens. He said: ''What has to be understood is that Wales could be playing up to 14 internationals next year and we do not want to put too much pressure on the players.'' The English Rugby Football Union are also using the Twickenham match as an excuse to turn down an invitation to the Hong Kong Sevens. This year's Five Nations clash between the two countries at Cardiff saw Wales score a shock 10-9 win over then defending champions England. It has been a traumatic year for the Welsh union with their chief executive Denis Evans, a former Hong Kong Rugby Football Union executive, under internal investigation for alleged mismanagement. Wales made their Hong Kong debut in 1990, reaching the semi-finals after a shock quarter-final victory over Australia. At this year's Hong Kong Sevens, Wales, captained by Rupert Moon, reached the quarter-finals before losing to finalists Fiji. Portugal, meanwhile, are believed to have accepted an invitation to make their Hong Kong Sevens debut next year. The Portuguese were invited for the tournament after Italy declined an offer. The full lineup will be announced next month.