On a hugely competitive weekend of sevens, Hong Kong and Japan won the respective men’s and women’s titles at the Asia Rugby Sevens Series to confirm their places at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022, on 9-11 September next year.
Hong Kong men have appeared in every Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament to date and they can now look forward to competing alongside the world's best for an eighth time in Cape Town.
Having already booked their place in RWC Sevens 2022 by beating China in the semi-finals, they claimed the regional silverware thanks to a 33-7 win over Korea in the final.
For Hong Kong, there was double redemption for their sudden-death, extra-time defeat to Korea in the Tokyo Olympics qualifying final as they had beaten Korea in the pool stages too.
Korea 🇰🇷 V 🇭🇰Hong Kong— Asia Rugby (@asiarugby) November 20, 2021
Dialog Asia Rugby Sevens Series 2021
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 - Asian Qualifier pic.twitter.com/DMlloE1Kj3
Seven-time Asian men’s champions Japan won all three of their pool games but they lost out on a ticket to next year’s extravaganza after losing 21-14 to Korea in the semi-finals
But the Sakura Sevens ensured at least one team from Japan will be present in South Africa after an impressive couple of days in the desert, which culminated with a hard-fought 14-12 win over China.
As finalists, all four teams secured their tickets to the RWC Sevens 2022, alongside hosts South Africa and the pre-qualified teams.
Four of the 11 regional qualifiers in the women’s competition are now known as Brazil and Colombia had already confirmed their places in Cape Town by finishing in first and second place in the women’s Sudamérica Rugby Sevens in Montevideo earlier this month.
Hong Kong and Korea are the first regional qualifiers in the men’s competition with a further 14 spots up for grabs.