HSBC World 7s Party Starts on the Gold Coast
Less than 12 months has passed since the Gold Coast first hosted the opening round of the HSBC World 7s junket. An action packed weekend carnival that visits 9 destinations around the globe as we look towards Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016 where this variation of rugby union has been chosen to represent the code on its return to the Summer Olympics. The Gold Coast is an ideal location for this high intensity, high adrenalin and highly entertaining sport that fits nicely with what the coastal city has to offer.
Sevens rugby has been around since 1883 with a Scottish tournament in Melrose; which, incidentally, is still held every year in April. While this hybrid game is never going to rival traditional 15-a-side rugby, it is a vehicle to expand rugby’s reach, particular since its inclusion in the Commonwealth Games (1998) and the Olympics Rio de Janeiro, 2016. A fast paced exiting style of rugby that has attracted non-traditional rugby countries, such as Kenya, to explode onto the scene and since the Hong Kong 7s evolution in 1976 with corporate sponsorship this brand has excelled.
This year’s event, starting at the weekend October 13-14, promises to live up to the hype of a pure entertainment as it did last year. The local Australian national side, once again under the direction of perennial coach Michael O’Conner, look set to repeat their magnificent efforts in Tokyo this year with a tournament win. An undefeated title last weekend for the Australian Thunderbolts, at the Noosa 7s, has the team brimming with confidence and prompted O’Conner to say,
“This weekend has allowed us to firm up selections for the Qantas Men’s Sevens side to play Gold Coast Sevens Fever Pitch this coming weekend,”
On the back of their victory in Sydney, in August, to qualify for the 2013 Rugby Sevens World Cup in Moscow, the Ed Jenkins led national side is justified in going into the tournament confident, despite having to face last year’s winners Fiji on Saturday.