Melrose Shield Competition Confirmed For 2024 Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
The 2024 Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, which runs from 5-7 April 2024, will feature a special showcase tournament of the best Asian Sevens men’s and women’s teams with a triangular competition – now unveiled as the Melrose Shield.
This is the final Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens to take place at the iconic Hong Kong Stadium before the move to the new Kai Tak Sports Park stadium in 2025.
Hong Kong China Rugby and Melrose RFC, the birthplace of Sevens in Scotland, will exchange trophies for their respective famed rugby sevens tournaments to celebrate their shared global sevens legacies.
The trophies for the men’s and women’s teams in Hong Kong will be named the Melrose Shield, while the Hong Kong Shield will be presented to the shield winner of the U18s Sevens competition at Melrose with the Jim Telfer Cup already awarded to the tournament champions.
The new HSBC SVNS Series, which has already completed rounds in Dubai and Cape Town, features 12 men’s and 12 women’s international teams. Following the 2023 edition of the Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens which for the first time featured men’s and women’s teams including the host nation, Hong Kong China Rugby (HKCR) has worked to feature the top Asian sevens teams in the 2024 Melrose Shield competition.
Mr Phil Morris, Tournament Director of Melrose Rugby Limited said, “On behalf of Melrose RFC and the Melrose Sevens, I am delighted, that as the home of rugby sevens we are able to donate ‘The Melrose Shields’ to the two new competitions in Hong Kong, as a mark of our support and gratitude to Hong Kong China Rugby, which has done so much to promote and grow our wonderful game of rugby sevens in Asia and beyond.”
2024 Melrose Shield Sevens Format
The HKCR says the Hong Kong Sevens has a long and proud history of showcasing regional talent, and as Rugby Asia 247 had reported previously, the 2024 edition will feature Sevens rugby teams from:
- China (Women and men)
- Japan (Men)
- Hong Kong, China (Women and men)
- Thailand (Women)
The Melrose competitions will be six-match, round-robin tournaments interspersed throughout the three-day 2024 Hong Kong Sevens. This has been done to “keep fans on the edge of their seats, while also returning Asian rugby to the fore of the world’s most famous Sevens tournament.”
While Hong Kong and Japan have been perennial participants since the first Hong Kong Sevens in 1976, the Thailand women will debut at the tournament in 2024. China first played at the Hong Kong Sevens in 1998 but 2024 will be the first Hong Kong stadium appearance since 2012.
Asian Sevens Tournaments 2024
Five of the competing teams are also involved in the World Rugby HSBC Challenger Series 2024, while the Japanese men also have the Paris Olympics 2024 to prepare for. The HKCR & China men and women will also try to make the Games by competing in the Repechage tournament in Monaco in June 2024.
Hong Kong, China Men’s Sevens coach Jevon Groves said of the Melrose Shield, “We are looking forward to the Melrose Shield competition at the Stadium this April. The competition with our two top rivals in Asia in Japan and China will be excellent preparation for the Olympic repechage in June, and another important competitive opportunity for us as we target reaching the HSBC SVNS Grand Final.”
HKCR Women’s 7s coach Andy Vilk added, “The team are excited to be appearing inside the Stadium once again during Hong Kong Sevens weekend, and I am also looking forward to coaching them at one of the world’s great rugby occasions.” The English coach has fond memories of the stadium as won with England in 2006.
He also said, “The girls are hungry for more competitive opportunities and games against China and Thailand who are both participating in the women’s Challenger Series will be excellent preparation for us as a squad.”
All of the 24 HSBC SVNS teams and the six Asian Melrose Shield participating teams will be looking forward to being part of the Hong Kong Sevens tournament’s 47-year history in front of 40,000 fans.
- Hong Kong China Rugby CEO Robbie McRobbie Stepping Down In 2024.
- World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 – Leg 1 Dubai Pools.
- World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 – Dates And Venues Announced.
- Monaco To Host World Rugby Sevens Repechage – Paris 2024 Olympics