We had a fantastic time at Hong Kong Sevens as always! Read our tour report here for an insight into our trip.
To kick-off the exciting Hong Kong 7’s 2019 tour, Ali, Henry and Jess headed to Hong Kong to complete ground checks prior to client’s arrival. Caroline and Nikki followed closely behind, departing on Monday from Heathrow with clients on the 6 Night Tour package. Landing on Tuesday 2nd April after a few hours shut-eye on the plane, clients were greeted and shown to their relevant coach transfers by the team and our ground handlers, PC Tours. Clients had the choice to book a package with a hotel in either Hong Kong Island, or Kowloon, and the 40-45 minute transfer to either destination meant clients were all checked in by mid-afternoon, allowing time for a quick change and freshen up with the rest of the day to explore their surroundings. Shortly after, the second flight of the day arrived, still allowing clients time to settle into their room and head out for some dinner.
Each morning, staff made their way to their designated hotels for desk duty giving clients the opportunity to ask questions they had or for any advice. After desk duty on the Wednesday, the team had time to explore the city and soak up the sun before meeting in Kowloon for dinner. After dinner, we headed to the harbour to watch the light show, which happens every day at 8pm and is worth doing at least once! Meanwhile, James and our 4 Night Tour clients departed Heathrow and were on route to Hong Kong, arriving mid-afternoon on Thursday.
Clients were again met upon arrival and transferred to their hotels, followed again by the slightly later flight arriving early evening. Thursday evening also saw our Gullivers Event take place at the Renaissance Harbour Grand Hotel, beautifully located with the stunning skyline as the backdrop. The event Q+A session kicked-off at 6:30pm hosted by Ollie Phillips who was joined by David Campese, Shane Williams, DJ Forbes, Portia Woodman, Drew Mitchell and Daisuke Ohata. After the Q+A, clients had the chance to mingle with the HKRU ambassadors and get some great pictures with the stars for their memories.
Friday fast approached with spectators making their way to the stadium throughout the day to catch the women’s qualifiers (which had started on the Thursday) and the men’s qualifiers. Everyone ensured they were in their seat for the spectacle that was the opening ceremony to kick-off the main event in the late afternoon. With day one of the sevens finishing late evening, many were eager to head straight to sample Hong Kong’s nightlife making their way to Wan Chai and Lang Kwai Fong to enjoy the rest of their evening – not forgetting heading to the Gwen Stefani concert first of all at the central harbourfront for those that had purchased a ticket.
Saturday brought clear skies with spectators heading to the stadium bright and early to get their spot ahead of the exciting day that day two of the sevens had to offer. The notorious South Stand filled quickly with plenty of colourful fancy dress on show, making their presence known from the get-go. The great thing about Hong Kong stadium is that most of the seating is general admission, so you can pick a spot of your choice and move about the stadium if you wish, many opting for the shade as the temperature soared!
After a great day of rugby, the evening followed a similar route to Friday with the streets in Lang Kwai Fong and Wan Chai filled with people enjoying themselves and ready to party the night away!
Finals day! Many made their way to the stadium in the early morning ready for the action ahead, whilst others were still returning from their nights out! After some great matches throughout the day, soon came the final where Fiji secured a fifth consecutive title in Hong Kong, creating history with a 21-7 victory over France.
With just three full rounds to go the 2019 series, after the tournament victory standings see Fiji jump ahead of New Zealand with USA on top and South Africa in fourth.
Monday morning fast approached with clients having one last day to spend in Hong Kong before the late evening flight home. With clients all checked in at the airport, it was time to say our goodbyes and get some well-earned sleep on the 12-hour flight home, with plenty of time to reflect on what had been a spectacular sevens tour with lots of amazing memories to cherish and to look forward to doing it all again next year!
- Nikki Howie