Hong Kong Sevens by the numbers

Stats and facts to get you into gear for the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, held annually in April

Moments in time

28 March 1976

-The date of the first Hong Kong Sevens, which was sponsored by Cathay Pacific and Rothmans’ Tobacco. It was one of the world’s first rugby tournaments to attract commercial sponsorship.


-The first Chinese player to represent Hong Kong at a Rugby World Cup Sevens.

-The year of the first Hong Kong Women’s Sevens tournament, with New Zealand dominating the field.


-Rugby was granted Olympic status, with Hong Kong acting as a qualifying match for the 2020 Games.

History of rugby

-Rugby balls used to be made from pigs’ bladders encased in leather. Today, synthetic materials allow them to be waterproof.

-The sport is named after Rugby School, located in the town of Rugby in the UK, where it was first played in 1823.

Economic aspects

-This year’s prize money stands at US$150,000 (about HK$1.18 million). The Hong Kong Sevens has the largest prize of any World Rugby event.

-The average amount Hong Kong Sevens spectators from overseas spend HK$19,000 in the city during their stay.

Rugby union game variants

Traditional: Players per side: 15; Minutes per half: 40

Tens: Players per side: 10; Minutes per half: 10

Sevens: Players per side: 7; Minutes per half: 7

Biggest winners in Hong Kong Sevens history

  • Fiji: 18 wins
  • New Zealand: 11 wins
  • Australia: 5 wins



  • Points: 5
  • How to score: Touching the ball down in your opponent’s goal area


  • Points: 2
  • How to score: Successful kick through the goalposts after a try

Goal kick

  • Points: 3
  • How to score: Penalty kick or drop goal through the posts
Cathay Travell Book


Discovery online brings together all the inspirational travel writing from our two inflight magazines, Discovery and Silkroad. Be sure to look out for the print editions when you next fly with Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon.
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