One of the most spectacular rugby actions in the world kicks off each year in Hong Kong at Hong Kong rugby sevens. This highly acclaimed sporting event has retained its position as one of the most dazzling and recognized events in the rugby calendar.
The tournament was the birth child of two prominent figures Tokkie Smith, the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union Chairman and Ian Gow, a tobacco company executive at Rothman's Tobacco. The idea for a world class sevens tournament was bought by Gow at a pre-luncheon drink with Tokkie Smith. The idea was quickly realized just within a year and Hong Kong Sevens was born. The Hong Kong Sevens started out in 1976 with clubs from Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Japan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Fiji. Cantabrians, a provincial team from New Zealand clenched the first Hong Kong Sevens cup in 1976. The tournament grew in popularity over the years and the increase in fans and spectators prompted the organizers to move the games from its original venue at Hong Kong Football Club to the Hong Kong Government Stadium.
By this time Hong Kong Sevens had made a name for itself and it had become a highly acclaimed rugby event in Asia. The popularity grows each year with fans attending the event form all over the world. The increase in ticket sales and huge attendance of fans prompted the organizers to again relocate their games venue. The stadium was rebuilt in 1994 with a seating capacity of 40,000 and has been the home for the sevens since then.
The game of Rugby sevens is intense, exciting and fast. It became apparent that sevens was a great medium to develop world class rugby players. Players like Jonah Lomu, Christian Cullen, George Greagan showcased their amazing abilities in sevens games. The IRB has recognized the importance of the sevens game for the growth of Rugby as a sport. They initiated World Seven Series in 2000 on the 25th Anniversary of sevens rugby in Hong Kong highlighting the contribution made by Hong Kong Sevens to the rugby world.
Hong Kong sevens is held annually during the last weekend of March and the spirit of the game can be seen everywhere as fans from all over the world flock to this bustling metropolis. Hotels, restaurants, shops and malls located all over the city create an excellent environment for tourist to shop, dine and have a great time while attending this two day rugby action.
Several well known Hong Kong hotels are located close by to the Hong Kong Stadium and Cosmopolitan Hotel is a premier hotel offering a great range of services and offers during the sevens season.