A Visit to the Rugby Sevens

As all rugby fans who have already experienced the HSBC Rugby Sevens of Hong Kong will tell you, it is an experience not to be missed. As supporters from every corner of the globe converge for the event, the carnival-like atmosphere of the sevens is unbeatable. Overview and History The next Hong Kong sevens is being held between March 22 and March 24 in 2013. The event will take place in the magnificent Hong Kong Stadium, which has recently been redeveloped out of the old Government Stadium into what is currently the largest outdoor sports and entertainment venue in the whole of Hong Kong. With a capacity of 40,000, the stadium always enjoys a vibrant and exciting atmosphere. However, while all tickets are seated, they are allocated as first come first served, thus making an early booking vital if you want to get the best seats. The event was actually first staged back in 1976 and was intended as a way to increase the popularity of the sport of rugby throughout the Asian world. Since then the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens has gone on to become one of the major events (along with any lions rugby tour) on the entire international sporting calendar. Teams from all the top rugby nations will be there to compete in what are generally fast-paced, action filled games that last for 15 minutes each. However, the action is not limited to the stadium alone as the whole city comes alive and a three-day carnival ensues. The Teams A total of 24 teams will be competing in the event. The top seeds are expected to include England, New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, South Africa and Australia. These six seeds will all be placed in separate groups which will include other strong teams such as Argentina, France, Scotland, the USA, Wales and Tonga, while each group will be made up of a further two teams that will come from the weaker rugby nations such as China, Mexico, Malaysia and Zimbabwe. At present England and New Zealand top the Series table, while Fiji, Samoa and South Africa follow close behind. The 2012 event was eventually won by Fiji who, having eliminated England 14-7 in the semi-finals, went on to defeat New Zealand 35-28 in a thrilling final. Package Tours While attending the event under your own steam is an option, travelling as part of a tour package is perhaps the wisest choice. Various tour packages are available from a variety of operators, many of which can be tailored to suit your own specific needs. The packages will generally include flights, hotels and tickets to the event and can last from between four nights to a week or longer if so desired. In addition, a number of extra benefits such as, for example, discounts at certain shopping centres, complimentary drinks vouchers and even a daily breakfast are often included. However you choose to experience the event, the Hong Kong rugby sevens -- long regarded as the premier competition in the whole IRB Sevens World Series -- will be sure to be an experience that you will never forget. With the added bonus of the women's tournament (held before the men's tournament) and the party atmosphere of the whole region, the event remains the favourite for numerous rugby fans the world over. AUTHOR BIO: Duncan Bedford writes regularly on the subject of sporting events for a wide range of related websites and blogs. Aside from any Lions rugby tour, the Hong Kong sevens remains his favourite rugby event on the sporting calendar.