TEAMS READY TO BATTLE FOR SPOT ON WOMEN’S SERIES

(Via World Rugby)

South Africa captain Veroeshka Grain is in Hong Kong and leads a side that are hoping to regain their place on the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series.

They are one of 12 teams that are set to play in a qualifying tournament that sees the winner go into next season’s HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series as a core team.

“We’ll focus on the first game first and take it from there, but to win is our main goal for this tournament,” said Grain.

“We’ve worked so hard and we belong on the world series. All 12 teams are here to qualify and they will bring it.”

Grain and 11 other captains gathered in central Hong Kong on Tuesday and with the women’s game growing rapidly, Hong Kong captain Christy Cheng knows that the series is the place to be.

“We don’t have a lot of home games and we are so excited, we can’t wait to run out in front of our home crowd.

“It would mean a lot to get on the series. We have come so close and have been top in Asia so a spot on the series would help us in our preparation for the next Olympics. We’re desperate to get on the series.”

Another side that will be hoping to regain their spot on the women’s series is the Netherlands, who not only competed but hosted a round of the event in years gone by. Their captain, Bodil van Wijnbergen, is ready for a tough battle on Thursday and Friday.

“We hope to get back to the women’s series. Every team will give it their best and we’re underdogs. But we want to get on the series and we want to get to Tokyo 2020. So we’re here to show what we can do.”

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The games will be played at the So Kon Po pitch beside the Hong Kong Stadium on Thursday and Friday, with the semi-final and final played in the main stadium on Friday.

All the action will be streamed live on the World Rugby Facebook Live page and on the women’s sevens site from Thursday afternoon (GMT +7) when Papua New Guinea take on Colombia.