HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens could see first teams qualify for 2020 Olympics
9 April 2019, Singapore – Rugby fans here have much to look forward to as Singapore welcomes all 16 teams for the upcoming 2019 HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens this weekend. Earlier today, representatives from Singapore Sports Hub, HSBC, World Rugby and the head coaches of Fiji and USA sat down at Pan Pacific Hotel to share their thoughts on the action taking place at the National Stadium on 13 and 14 April.
Fiji coming off another win last weekend – their fifth consecutive victory in Hong Kong – will be looking to replicate their success here. Fiji is the defending champion of the tournament.
Gareth Baber, Head Coach, Fiji said, “The players have worked extremely hard; we have got some young players in there and in Hong Kong we saw debutantes who were phenomenal in terms of what they had taken on. When faced with challenges in the group stages last weekend, they overcame it and produced some scintillating rugby. They were pushed all the way by the competition that was there within and has been all season. Mike has done a great job with the USA but equally the coaches of England, South Africa, New Zealand and all the other teams, they have pushed the competition level up game by game.”
Their win on the weekend narrowed the gap at the top of the table between Fiji and current leader, USA. Dependent on results this weekend in Singapore, both sides are also on the brink of being amongst the first qualifiers for the Rugby Sevens at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo next year.
Mike Friday, Head Coach, USA said, “For the USA, Olympic qualification is everything. Our sole focus has been about Olympic qualification. That’s not to say we don’t like to be in the series, because we do. But we also understand the competition and the history of these traditional Rugby Sevens nations like Fiji, New Zealand, South Africa, England and Australia. For the USA which is a Tier 2 rugby nation to gate crash and be a part of that party is something that we are insanely proud of but also we recognise the company that we keep, so we keep our feet grounded, we stay focus on the process – which is trying to get Olympic qualification and we’ll see where we are at the end of Singapore.”
World Rugby Sevens Series Director, Doug Langley commented, “We are at a key point in the series and with Singapore being the 8th leg, it obviously has a lot more narrative to it. We have the race for qualification for the Olympics next year but we also have the battle to avoid relegation.
I’d like to congratulate Mike and Gareth as the USA and Fijian teams have been absolutely outstanding this season, especially under the pressure that they've been with not just trying to be the Series title winners but with qualifying for the Olympics. We see some superhuman athleticism out there. It’s a joy to watch and a great spectacle for not just the fans at the stadium but the global coverage they get across our media and broadcast platforms and we look forward to more of that this weekend.
We very much enjoy the collaboration with Singapore Sports Hub, Sport Singapore and HSBC and we are happy to confirm that we’re back here for another four years starting in 2020. We look forward to continued collaboration with our partners, ensuring that we take the event to even greater heights as we go through those four years.”
In addition to all the rugby action on the field, fans and attendees of the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens may also look forward to a plethora of entertainment offerings in and around the stadium over the weekend. These include the all-new Singapore Sevens Splash Party, Sports Hub Community Play Day, ‘live’ music by Smash Mouth and Broadway’s Rock of Ages Band, opportunities to meet beloved characters from DreamWorks like Trolls and the Minions by Illumination, as well as rugby legends Huriana Manuel, Waisale Serevi, George Gregan and DJ Forbes.
CEO, Singapore Sports Hub, Oon Jin Teik, said, “We are proud to welcome 16 teams to Singapore with the knowledge that the teams and spectators will have a wonderful experience, this weekend and for four more years for the HSBC World Rugby Series 2020 to 2023. Sincere thanks to World Rugby, and all the competing teams for giving us the strong vote of confidence. Singapore will continue to exceed your expectations.”
This year will see the return of the HSBC Hot Seat in Singapore to enhance the in-stadium fan experience. The HSBC Hot Seat is a dedicated zone with the best seats in the house and fans can win a session in the Hot Seat for them and their friends by participating in the HSBC Dance Cam, which will be featured on the big screen in-stadium throughout the tournament. Spectators can also look forward to specially curated entertainment offerings and a Best Dressed contest with chances to win exclusive prizes and experiences worth thousands of dollars from their seats.
Tony Lewis, Head, HSBC Securities Services, Singapore, concluded, “When HSBC first partnered with Rugby Sevens, in 2010, it was a beautiful moment for the sport. Today, we continue to promote rugby particularly in Asia, where we see so much potential for the sport. Here in Singapore, we are absolutely thrilled again to have Sport Singapore and Singapore Sports Hub collaborating with us in this ongoing effort, pushing for the growth of the sport in Singapore. HSBC is also incredibly excited about our renewed global partnership with Rugby Sevens for another four years, as we continue to drive the acceleration of the sport worldwide.”
Tickets for the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens are available and on sale from $19 for youth and $39 for adults. Family packages and premium tickets can be purchased via the Singapore 7s website www.singapore7s.sg Sports Hub Tix website www.sportshubtix.sg, hotline +65 3158 7888, Sports Hub Tix Box Office at Singapore Indoor Stadium, The Star Performing Arts Centre Box Office, Scotts Square Concierge Desk, and all SingPost outlets. For all Private Suite and The Greenyards Club hospitality enquiries, email email@example.com.