Hong Kong Sevens, widely regarded as the ‘best tournament on the circuit’ by fans and players alike, kicked off yesterday with a total of 42 teams competing over four days. From the Rugby Americas North region Guyana Men’s Sevens and Jamaica Men’s and Women’s Sevens are two of 24 teams participating in the qualifying tournament. Qualifier champions from the men’s and women’s tournaments will earning a spot in the World Rugby Sevens Series. Hong Kong also serves as the seventh stop on the Series for the eighteen teams competing at the top level, including RAN teams Rugby Canada and USA.

Arriving from an intense weeklong training camp in New York, Guyana landed in Hong Kong Monday to prepare for their third appearance at Hong Kong Sevens. Guyana Men’s Sevens made their first appearance at the tournament in 2012 but only managed to win one match versus China. The team once again competed in 2015 but went winless.

This year, Guyana looks to build upon the success they found at the 2016 RAN Sevens where they finished second to Canada. The team is feeling confident after warm-up matches versus fellow competitors Uganda and Tonga, and wins in pool play will show marked improvement for the union.

“The main focus right now is to ensure the nation and the Caribbean are well represented through Jamaica and Guyana,” said Guyana Union President, Peter Green. “Wins against higher ranked teams will surely serve as an inspiration and endorsement that the efforts of RAN towards high-level exposure for the lower tier nations are bearing fruition and justified.”

Jamaica is also looking to make the union and the region proud. With both the men’s and women’s sides competing, the teams are looking to capitalize on the spotlight to grow the game at home.

The Jamaica women debuted on Thursday in a competitive Pool A. Though the Lady Crocs went winless in the tournament and were unable to score versus Japan and China, they showed improvement by putting points on the board in the last match versus the Netherlands.

The Jamaica Men’s Sevens squad last featured in the qualifying tournament back in 2013. This year Jamaica have been drawn in Group E alongside Germany, Uganda and Tonga and are looking for their first win in the competition to improve upon their 2013 showing.

For all three teams competing in the qualifier this weekend an appearance in Hong Kong represents a chance to demonstrate improvement and equally important an opportunity to inspire youth back home to take up rugby and grow the grassroots game.

The USA and Canada sit fifth and tenth respectively in Series standings and competition in the 40,000 seat Hong Kong Stadium kicks off on Friday, April 7th. Squads, game times and scores appear below. Fans can find viewing information by region here.

Jamaica Men’s Sevens Squad:
Tyrone Rowe, Omar Dixon, Josh Jacas, Marcus Webber, Rhodri Adamson, Conan Osbourne, Anthony Bingham, Gareth Stoppani, Ashley Smith, Oshane Eddie, Fabion Jeru Turner, Joshua Christie, Lucas Smith, Marcel Garvey (Coach)

Jamaica Women’s Sevens Squad:
Davine Burton, Debisha Scarlett, Sasha-Gaye Green, Jhonelle Brown, Christena Gayle, Dae-marie Whyte, Lisa Frazer, Crystal Groves, Tamara Dixon, Shanice Stewart, Tiera Reynolds, Rose Baker, Clarence Brown (Coach)

Guyana Men’s Sevens Squad:
Ryan Gonsalves (Captain), Rupert Giles, Vallon Adams, Richard Staglon, Rondell McArthur, Rickford Cummings, Peabo Hamilton, Claudius Butts, Patrick King, Avery Corbin, Ronald Mayers, Dwayne Schroeder and Blaise Bailey along with officials Kenneth Grant-Stuart (Coach), Robin Roberts (Manager) and Physiotherapist, Barrington Browne

USA Men’s Sevens Squad:
1. Anthony Welmers
2. Ben Pinkelman
3. Danny Barrett
4. Matai Leuta
5. Mike Te’o
6. Andrew Durutalo
7. Folau Niua
8. Maka Unufe
9. Stephen Tomasin
10. Madison Hughes (C)
11. Perry Baker
12. Martin Iosefo
13. Malon Al-Jiboori
Eagle Sevens Preview: https://www.usarugby.org/2017/04/mens-eagles-sevens-hong-kong-2017-preview/?iSKQP3P8UM3IpXWA.99

Rugby Canada Men’s Sevens Squad:
Luke Bradley – (UVic Vikes/Port Alberni Black Sheep) Port Alberni, BC
Tevaughn Campbell – (Saskatchewan Roughriders) Scarborough, ON
Jared Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC) Abbotsford, BC
Justin Douglas – (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
Mike Fuailefau – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
Lucas Hammond – (UVIC Vikes) Toronto, ON
Nathan Hirayama – (UVic Vikes/BC Bears) Richmond, BC
Harry Jones – (Capilano RFC) Vancouver, BC
Isaac Kaay  – (UVic Vikes) Kamloops, BC
Pat Kay – (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) Duncan, BC
Luke McCloskey – (Castaway Wanderers) Victoria, BC
John Moonlight – Captain (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Pickering, ON
Josiah Morra – (Toronto Saracens) Toronto, ON
Matt Mullins – (Queen’s University/Ontario Blues) Belleville, ON
Rugby Canada Preview: http://www.rugbycanada.ca/leagues/newsletter.cfm?clientid=3817&leagueid=11332&page=99490

Jamaica Men’s Sevens Schedule:
Friday, April 7th
vs. Germany at 13:06 local, 01:06 ET
vs. Tonga at 15:40 local, 03:40 ET
Saturday, April 8th
vs. Uganda at 09:44 local, 21:44 ET

Jamaica Women’s Sevens Schedule:
Thursday, April 6th
FT: Netherlands 22-7 Jamaica
FT: China 68-0 Jamaica
FT: Japan 54-0 Jamaica

Guyana Men’s Sevens Schedule:
Friday, April 7th
vs. Spain at 12:22 local, 24:22 ET
vs. Papua New Guinea at 02:56 local, 2:56 ET
Saturday, April 8th
vs. Uruguay at 9:00 local, 21:00 ET

USA Men’s Sevens Schedule:
Friday, April 7th
vs. Russia at 19:08 local, 07:08 ET
Saturday, April 8th
vs. Scotland at 12:26 local, 24:26 ET
vs. Argentina at 16:24 local, 04:24 ET

Canada Men’s Sevens Schedule:
Friday, April 7th
vs. Kenya at 20:18 local, 08:18 ET
Saturday, April 8th
vs. France at 13:34 local, 01:34 ET
vs. South Africa at 17:56 local, 05:46 ET