NAIROBI, Kenya, March 14 – The Kenya Lionesses will be looking to book a ticket for a first ever World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series at this year’s Hong Kong 7s tournament to be held April 6-7.
Twelve teams will take part in the tournament at So Kon Po, across from Hong Kong Stadium on Thursday and Friday, April 6-7, with the semi-finals and final to be played in front of 40,000 at the main stadium.
The winner will replace the bottom team on this year’s World Series for next season.
The 12 teams are South Africa and Kenya (Africa), Jamaica (Americas North), Argentina and Colombia (Americas South), Japan, China and hosts Hong Kong (Asia), Belgium, Italy and The Netherlands (Europe) and Papua New Guinea (Oceania).
Kenya, Colombia and Japan took part in the Olympic Sevens tournament in Rio last summer, while Belgium, Colombia, Italy and Jamaica will be playing in Hong Kong for the first time, bringing the number of nations to have competed in the tournament to 41 in its 20th edition.
“The quality of the teams is great and the opportunity to contest the qualifier at home is all that you could ask for as a coach. It’s added pressure, of course, but also added excitement,” Hong Kong coach Anna Richards said.
“Hong Kong is iconic for sevens, so hosting the women’s qualifier here is great for the development of the game. The more Women’s events that can be played alongside the men’s tournaments the better.”
Kenya Lionesses has been grouped with Argentina, hosts Hong Kong and Belgium in pool B.
South Africa are in pool C with Colombia, Papua New Guinea and Italy as Japan headlines pool A with China, Netherlands and Jamaica.
Pool A: Japan, China Nertherlands, Jamaica
Pool B: Argentina, Kenya, Hong Kong, Belgium
Pool C: South Africa, Colombia, PNG, Italy