Mexico enters Hong Kong Sevens tournament
Sevens’ growing global appeal will see Mexico make their debut at the famous Hong Kong event in March.
The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union have announced the 24 teams taking part in the 2011 event.
Mexico’s participation is backed by the International Rugby Board which is eager to see the game grow there.
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 Hong Kong. This will be Mexico’s only participation on the IRB World Sevens Series for 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 World Series are all involved: Argentina, Australia, England, Fiji, France, Kenya, New Zealand, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, USA and Wales.
Seven other teams from outside the region will join them - Canada, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Tonga and Zimbabwe – while the tournament continues its traditional role of supporting the development of Asian rugby, hosting five teams from around the region - China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
"Mexico’s participation in the Hong Kong leg of this year’s Series gives them an opportunity to compete at an international level in preparation for the upcoming rugby sevens competition in the Pan American Games in Guadalajara later in the year," said IRB Sevens Manager Beth Coalter.
"With 24 teams in Hong Kong there is a wider range of team strengths to compete against and together with Hong Kong’s renowned atmosphere, the experience will go a long way to further assist Mexico’s preparations", added Coalter.
The event, from March 25-27 is a sell out.
The next two legs of the series will be held in Wellington and Las Vegas over the coming two weeks.