Cheetahs confirm Hong Kong participation

HARARE - Zimbabwe has confirmed its participation at the Hong Kong Sevens, along with 27 other nations, where 2016 Olympic qualification points and promotion to core team status will be on the line.

The line-up for the 2015 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens sees the tournament retaining its status as the largest on the HSBC Sevens World Series.

The tournament takes place over the weekend of March 27-29.

Of the 28 teams competing in Hong Kong, 16 will compete in the core team competition whilst 12 take part in the Sevens World Series qualifier.

Zimbabwe will take part in the 12-team line-up in the qualifier where the winner will earn core team status for 2015-16 and replace the lowest ranked side at the conclusion of the current series.

Japan won the qualifier in Hong Kong last year to join the series.

Russia and Spain are the representatives from Europe, Papua New Guinea and Tonga from Oceania, Zimbabwe and Tunisia from Africa, Mexico and Guyana from North America and the Caribbean, Uruguay and Brazil from South America and hosts Hong Kong and Korea from Asia.

World Rugby’s general manager Sevens Avan Lee said the tournament that is expecting over 120,000 spectators will be one to remember.

“Hong Kong is going to be very special for lots of reasons in 2015, not least because in the tournament’s 40th anniversary year the organisers will be pulling out all the stops to make their event even more special than it always is for the players and the fans,” Lee was quoted as saying by HSBC website.

“There is the excitement and drama that the World Series qualifier brings for those teams aspiring to join the top level, and of course the current series will be ticking past the half way stage in Hong Kong. With only the top four guaranteed an Olympic place in Rio 2016 at the end of the season each series point in crucial so there is a huge amount riding on every match.”

The official tournament draw for both men’s competitions will be held on February 16.

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