- 12 men’s and women’s teams will compete for core status in the World Rugby Sevens Series Qualifier
- Women’s qualifier kicks off four days of action-packed rugby sevens on 4 April with free entry
- USA currently lead the men’s series after six of 10 rounds
- Only 33 points separate the top five teams in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series standings
- Portugal confirmed as invitational team in men’s series event
The pools and schedules for the World Rugby Sevens Series Qualifiers and the men’s Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens on 4-7 April, have been confirmed.
Across four days of action-packed rugby, 12 men’s and women’s teams will compete in the World Rugby Sevens Series Qualifiers with the winner of each tournament securing core status on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2020.
Alongside these qualifiers, the men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series teams will continue their race to secure the coveted series title and Olympic qualification, guaranteed to the top four teams at the end of the 2019 series.
With only 33 points separating the top five teams in the standings there is everything to play for in Hong Kong.
The women’s qualifier will kick-off the action-packed long weekend of rugby in Hong Kong on 4 April, at the So Kon Po Recreation Ground, with entry free for fans.
2018 series core team Japan are top seeds in Pool A alongside Belgium, debutants Scotland and Mexico, who were the invitational side at the new women’s series opener in Glendale, Colorado, last October.
Pool B includes 2019 series invitational sides Kenya and Papua New Guinea, who featured in Dubai and Sydney respectively, alongside hosts Hong Kong and Uganda.
Former series core team Brazil, meanwhile, will take on Argentina, Kazakhstan and Poland in Pool C.
The men’s World Rugby Sevens Series Qualifier gets underway on 5 April at the Hong Kong Stadium.
Pool E of the men’s qualifier includes hosts Hong Kong, the Philippines, Zimbabwe and Tonga, the latter two having featured on the 2019 series as invitational sides in Dubai and Cape Town and Hamilton and Sydney respectively.
HSBC London Sevens 2018 bronze medallists Ireland, who reached the semi-finals in last year’s qualifier, are set to face 2018 series core team Russia, Uruguay and Jamaica in Pool F.
Germany, who have suffered heartbreak in the final of the last two qualifiers, are named in Pool G and will face Uganda, the Cook Islands and Chile, the invitational team in Las Vegas and Vancouver earlier this month
The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens also kicks off on 5 April, the seventh round of the men’s world series.
South Africa, crowned HSBC Canada Sevens in Vancouver last weekend, will face Las Vegas runners-up Samoa, Scotland and Japan in Pool A.
Pool B features Vancouver silver medallists France, Argentina, Canada and invitational side Portugal.
Pool C is a mouth-watering prospect with Fiji and New Zealand, who sit second and third in the standings respectively, drawn alongside Australia and Kenya.
The final pool will see series leaders USA tackle England, Wales and Spain, the latter having created history in Vancouver with their first ever victory over the All Blacks Sevens.
For more information on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, visit www.world.rugby/sevens-series.