A gold medal at the National Games will be the perfect way to announce the sport's entry into the Hong Kong Sports Institute, said captain Rowan Varty as rugby sevens makes its bow in the mainland's inter-provincial showpiece. "To win gold would be massive for us," said Varty. "It is our first tournament really as a senior squad, and our first multi-sport games, as part of the Hong Kong Sports Institute, so it would be a very important statement." Hong Kong rugby already holds pride of place in being the only team sport at the elite institute. A gold medal would cement the future of the sport there. While the women's squad are also in medal contention, Varty's men are clear favourites to win rugby a medal at the six-team tournament, which gets underway on Monday and includes top seeds Beijing and the PLA. "Beijing are the most experienced side we will face. They have good coaching and a lot of experience, even more than some of the newer guys in our squad," Varty said. "They are frequently called on to represent China, so we will have to rely on the experience of the senior guys like Alex [McQueen], Ant [Haynes], Dog [Kwok Ka-chun] and Salom [Yiu Kam-shing] to help us get through." In July's qualifying tournament in Shanghai, Hong Kong lost to Beijing 19-12 to finish third. "The qualifiers were an eye-opener and I think the experience will hold us in good stead. We had no idea how strong the teams would be and we ended up getting caught out in the one match with Beijing even though we beat them comfortably in the pool stages," Varty said. "But losing in the qualifiers was a blessing in disguise. Playing someone you've already played and beat in the tournament is always tough. You're bound to get a bit complacent. "If we hadn't lost that game we might be going into the finals complacent, but as it is we are well excited to get another chance to do it right. "We know how important it is for these provinces to qualify and play well in the National Games. It's more than just turning up and we know now what we need to do well. We need to play to the maximum of our ability and if we do that we will win the gold." Hong Kong played at the last Asian Games in Guangzhou in 2010 and the year before at the East Asian Games. "Multi-sports games are really special," added Varty. "If you ask the guys they'll always say their favourite events are the Asian Games or East Asian Games because there's so much more than just rugby going on and you're part of something more than just about the rugby. "We'll definitely be hoping to get out to see some of the other sports and to cheer on the other Hong Kong athletes. "In Colombia at the World Games, we got a chance to watch the gymnastics, which was amazing. And the guys usually like to watch the weightlifting, as we do a lot of it in the gym and we want to see how we compare," he laughed.