You are here
The twelve-team lesser Hong Kong Sevens tournament begins Saturday, April 8 and the biggest surprise is that one of the nations competing is the tiny Cayman Islands, part of the British Commonwealth with Queen Elizabeth II serving as the titular head of the country.
The Caymans are located south of Bermuda and north west of Jamaica. The total population is about 55,000 people. The land mass size totals 102 square miles, about the same acreage as the Borough of Queens, New York. Interestingly, its world rank is 14th highest for GDP.
Rugby began in 1970 and the first match was played in 1973 against a visiting British warship. The XV play in the West Indies Rugby Union, also comprising Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Bermuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, and Guyana. These islands play for the Caribbean Championship.
The winner of the 12-team Hong Kong event will earn promotion to next year's HSBC World Rugby Series, and replace this season's bottom-ranked team. The twelve sides come from World Rugby's six regions and number: Morocco and Zimbabwe (Africa), Hong Kong and Japan (Asia), Germany and Spain (Europe), Cayman Islands and Mexico (North America), Brazil and Chile (South America) and Papua New Guinea and Tonga (Oceania).
The Cayman sevens' team's players come mainly from the Maples National Sevens Academy, and this 2016 Hong Kong event represents the nation's first major HSBC World Rugby circuit tournament.
Good luck to a true underdog.
(The Cayman flag appears below).