[Sponsored Article] The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is one of the world’s premier festival weekends, with world-class rugby inside Hong Kong Stadium and outstanding entertainment at two fanzones across the city, which in 2019 features a headline concert by Gwen Stefani on the evening of Friday, 5 April. Here’s seven things you need to know about the event. 1. It’s the world’s biggest (and best) rugby tournament Forty teams from 34 international rugby unions will flock to Hong Kong for this year’s Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, making it the world’s largest rugby tournament. The 40 teams in one place mark the biggest gathering of rugby unions anywhere in the world in 2019. Sixteen men’s sides will contest the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, the seventh of 10 legs on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, while 12 men’s and women’s teams take part in global qualifiers for a shot at promotion to their respective Series. Over 120,000 fans are expected to flock to the stadium to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Sevens across three days of world-class rugby revelry and entertainment. It all adds up to one of the sporting world’s ultimate bucket list events. 2. This year there is a Superpass For all rugby fans the new South Stand Superpass completes the perfect Hong Kong Sevens experience, with the pass including a ticket to the Gwen Stefani presented by Marriott Bonvoy concert on the Friday night, as well as access to a Saturday-only ticket to the world-famous South Stand. The idea behind the pass is to link the entertainment activities as part of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens Festival and the tournament, enhancing the experience for event-goers. Anyone 18-years or older can purchase the Superpass via the hksevens.com website, but numbers are limited so get in quick! 3. There is a new fanzone in Central A ticket to the tournament can be hard to come by, so for those looking for an alternative way to be part of the action the Sevens Central fanzone at the Central Harbourfront event space will provide a place to soak up the atmosphere. Sevens Central will host the one and only Gwen Stefani on Friday, April 5 to kick-start the weekend’s entertainment. Tickets to the three-time Grammy Award winner are still available at HK$780 from Ticketflap. On Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7 the venue will provide plenty of entertainment for all ages and free entry. There will be live music including female singer-songwriter Circle, local rock outfit Seasons For Change, DJ Nipper and tribute artists appearing as Queen, Pink, The Rolling Stones and more. For the kids there will be face painters, acrobatics, statues, stilt-walkers and dinosaurs, so it’s safe to say there will be something for everyone. Plus, the live Sevens action will be playing on big screen. 4. For families there is a Fanwalk Once again the Lee Gardens area in Causeway Bay will be transformed into a carnival atmosphere with rugby-themed activities and entertainment across the tournament weekend (April 5-7). Following last year’s success, a state-of-the-art ninja course by Ninja Coalition will put people aged six years and above through their paces. Participants will race against the clock to tackle a number of obstacles across two difficulty levels including challenges such as Five Step, Sea of Balls, Hanging Bridge, Log Grip, Warped Wall and Tilted Ladder. Professional ninjas including silver medal Olympian Jonathan Horton and Hollywood stunt woman Tiana Webberley will be on hand to showcase their talent and offer guidance. People will be entertained throughout the day with international and local acts and performers. Fans will also be able to cheer along their favourite team with live games of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens tournament being broadcast on a big screen. 5. Stars unite for Sevens Sporting legends always line-up to attend the Sevens, and this year will unite the top four try scorers in World Rugby history for the first time ever. Sevens Ambassadors Daisuke Ohata, David Campese and Shane Williams will be joined by HSBC Ambassador Bryan Habana, in being recognised on pitch at the tournament, marking the first occasion that all four of rugby’s most prolific try scorers will be gathered in a single place. Other legends in town include Josh Kronfeld, Drew Mitchell, Andy Goode, Jim Hamilton, Sir John Kirwan, Sir Ian McGeechan, Brian O’Driscoll, George Gregan, Michael Lynagh, Gavin Hastings, Mat Giteau, Simon Shaw, Rob Vickerman, Jason Leonard, Lawrence Dallaglio, Frank Bunce and Ben Golling among others. The Sevens’ Official Charity, Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, will also be hosting Olympians Michael Johnson and Li Xiaopeng, who hold eight Olympic gold medals between them. 6. The event is getting greener The Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU) introduced its Green Sevens campaign in 2014 to try and reduce the environmental impact of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens. 2019 is shaping up to be a milestone for the campaign, as the HKRU advances towards its goal of significantly reducing single-use plastic, one of the most pernicious waste drivers at large public events, through a new reusable cup scheme. Spectators will be asked to pay a HK$10 deposit for a reusable cup, which on leaving they may return to reclaim their $10, or drop into one of the charity cup collection bins and have the deposit donated to Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, the official charity of the Sevens. Since its inception, the Green Sevens campaign has earned significant recognition for its efforts and results, including certification under the Hong Kong Government’s Green Outdoor Event Scheme and taking the Green Event Pledge. In addition, the entire Sevens recently became the first, and presently only, Hong Kong sporting event to be recognised by the Green Outdoor Event Scheme, which is conducted by the Hong Kong Productivity Council. Furthermore, in an exciting step that demonstrates its commitment on a world stage, in the last few weeks the Hong Kong Rugby Union has joined as an official signatory to the UN Sports for Action Climate Declaration, the first rugby union to do so. 7. The Women’s Sevens Series is coming The Hong Kong Rugby Union is set to host the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series starting in 2020, with one of the eight legs of the 2020-21 Series to be staged here as part of next year’s Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens. The move sees the women’s and men’s series unite across one of the most spectacular and compelling weekends in global rugby, the 44-year old Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens. The move follows on Hong Kong’s hosting of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series qualifiers which will run this year on April 4 at So Kon Po recreational ground and April 5 in Hong Kong Stadium.