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Hong Kong rugby teams compete in New York tournament

For the first time, two Hong Kong rugby teams competed in New York’s leading rugby tourney, the Hell Gate Sevens, on July 8. The tournament, which was part of the celebrations of the Hong Kong SAR’s 20th anniversary, was sponsored by the HKETONY for the second year running.

Hong Kong clubs Sai Kung and Yuen Long, the winners of the Hong Kong District Rugby Sevens Tournament, competed in the men’s and women’s divisions, respectively, against the top teams in the American Northeast.

Speaking at a July 6 press conference, HKETONY Director Steve Barclay said he hoped the competition would encourage further rugby and sports exchanges between two great cities - Hong Kong and New York.

The Sai Kung and Yuen Long rugby teams got off to a great start at a joint training session with New York’s Village Lions rugby club on July 6 evening, before braving the rain the following morning (July 7) to practice at the Randall’s Island fields where the tournament was to be held. The rugby players found the training worthwhile, and were able to enjoy an early view of New York’s skyline in the distance.

Over 1,200 enthusiastic rugby fans cheered on the 62 competing teams at the tournament. The highlight of the tournament was the Men’s Northeast Sevens Championship Series, one of four qualifier tournaments for the USA Rugby Sevens National Championships. Spectators and players alike took photos with a life-size illustration of the famous Hong Kong Sevens provided by the HKETONY.

Before boarding their flight back to Hong Kong, the Sai Kung and Yuen Long rugby teams were delighted to find a 20th anniversary banner in Terminal 8 of JFK International Airport. They posed for a photo and recorded a video message.

The Hell Gate Sevens tournament, organized in partnership with the Village Lions Rugby Football Club, was held on New York’s Randall’s Island.

Director of HKETONY Steve Barclay with the visiting Hong Kong rugby teams at the July 6 press conference.
Director of HKETONY Steve Barclay with the visiting Hong Kong rugby teams at the July 6 press conference.
 
One of the winning teams of the 2017 Hell Gate Sevens tournament celebrate their victory with HKETONY Director Steve Barclay.
One of the winning teams of the 2017 Hell Gate Sevens tournament celebrate their victory with HKETONY Director Steve Barclay.
     
Hong Kong rugby team Sai Kung give a cheer for Hong Kong on camera.Hong Kong rugby team Sai Kung give a cheer for Hong Kong on camera.
 
Sai Kung takes a line-out throw during a match on New York’s Randall’s Island.
Sai Kung takes a line-out throw during a match on New York’s Randall’s Island.
     
Hong Kong’s Yuen Long rugby team talks strategy during a Hell Gate Sevens match.
Hong Kong’s Yuen Long rugby team talks strategy during a Hell Gate Sevens match.
 
A member of the Yuen Long team prepares to make a pass.
A member of the Yuen Long team prepares to make a pass.

 

 



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