Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sevens: Hong Kong Qualification places on the line in Viña del Mar

Photo Seven Viña
Following the Punta del Este and Mar del Plata Sevens tournaments the third noteworthy Sevens competition of the South American summer will be played in Viña del Mar, Chile on January 17 and 18. On the line will be direct qualification for Rugby Sevens' premier competition the Hong Kong Sevens in China in March 2015. Teams not only from South America but also North America are to be in action in the Chilean city. The increased scope of rugby to become played increasingly intercontinental  within South and North America is further reason why Argentina offers so much to the future of rugby as a global sport. 

The Hong Kong Sevens is commonly considered as the undisputed central event of Sevens rugby. Played once a year it is the biggest annual international tournament and it gives more countries than normal the opportunity of playing in an official round of the World Sevens Circuit. On March 27-29 two South American countries will play after having qualified by virtue of their performances in the 2015 Viña del Mar Sevens in Chile.

Unlike in previous editions the 2015 Viña del Mar Sevens will feature a changed two-team format with both Canada and the USA taking part. Termed the Super Copa the North Americans will play in a competition together with Argentina and the Pampas, Argentina's team that has played in Semi-professional competitions including the Vodacom Cup and Pacific Cup.

Argentina, Canada and the USA all already have their places in Hong Kong secured and who will join them from the Americas will be determined by the performances of those involved in the international qualifying tournament. The five-team competition will see all competitors facing each other over the two days. Participating will be Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.

Absent is Colombia who will compete in the Mar del Plata Sevens but not Viña del Mar. Other CONSUR teams from lower divisions are also not going to play in Chile. Colombia won the 2014 CONSUR B tournament after defeating Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela and doing so convincingly.

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