This year the Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens march past will have a little latin flair as the Hong Kong Sevens welcomes Mexico to the fiesta. Mexico is the first new competing team for the Hong Kong Sevens since Madagascar appeared in 2006.
Invited by the International Rugby Board to compete in Hong Kong, Mexico becomes the 49th country to compete at the Hong Kong Sevens in the 35 years since the inception of the event. Mexico is also the first team from Central America to participate in the world-famous Hong Kong Sevens, possibly the greatest Sevens party on earth. The Hong Kong leg will be Mexico Sevens’ only participation on the IRB World Sevens Series 2010/2011.
This year’s Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens also sees the return of Spain for the first time since 1998, while Malaysia returns for the first time since 2003.
The 12 core teams participating in the IRB Sevens World Series 2010/11 are: Argentina, Australia, England, Fiji, France, Kenya, New Zealand, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, USA and Wales. Seven other teams from outside the region will join the core teams: Canada, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Tonga and Zimbabwe. Closer to home, the Hong Kong Sevens continues its traditional role supporting the development of Asian rugby hosting five teams from around the region: China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s unique role as the only World Series event to host 24 teams, (with correspondingly more series points on offer over the weekend), and as the home of the largest prize purse in international rugby, ensures another thrilling weekend of rugby action played before 40,000 spectators in a highly festive atmosphere.