Hong Kong will be again in the Sevens in the Sun and is looking for its first gold in the Men’s and Women’s Elite tournaments. But is 2023 going to be their year? Head Coach Paul John talked to us and explained everything that there’s to know about this Asian side. Are you supporting Hong Kong and their bid to finish in 1st place?
Paul John, thank you again for having the time to talk to us! Hong Kong will be once again in the Algarve 7’s, and, as ever, we expect Hong Kong to be one of the main contenders for both the Elite Men’s and Women’s tournaments. What can you tell about your team? Was there a good development between 2022 and now?
PJ: We have been pretty busy since the last Algarve 7s. We have been to the World Cup 7s in SA, We have competed in and won an Asian Series, and have played in 2 Hong Kong 7s, so we have had a lot of tournaments which is great for the whole squad (and Staff).
Do you see the Algarve 7’s as a top tournament? What are the major positives about it?
PJ: The Algarve 7s has always been a priority tournament for us. It is at a time of year when we can give players an opportunity to compete in a quality international tournament. International teams bring quality squads to this tournament along with World famous Samurai International which is always extremely competitive with quality players and top-quality coaches.
Can you tell us your team’s goals for 2023?
PJ: Our goal for 2023 Algarve 7s is to once again be very competitive and use it as the start of our preparation for the Asian Games in September.
You have traveled all over the World, and coached teams in the World Series and in the biggest 7’s tournaments… do you reckon that the Algarve 7’s have a good chance to get to that level?
PJ: The Algarve is a quality tournament with many European teams using it for their international programs, when we played in the game a few years ago there were also teams from the southern hemisphere taking part. The Algarve is a beautiful area and we are extremely grateful that it is part of our Annual Calendar.
Do you think 7’s is still rugby’s best chance to get more people involved with the sport?
PJ: Not too sure about that, But I definitely think that 7s is an important part of any International team's development, the 7s environment is unique and it develops players as it tests their skills, fitness, mental resilience, and desire to be successful. I have thoroughly enjoyed my 7s experience and been lucky enough to see many players go on to become full International players representing their country and also a number have represented the British Lions too. I am sure that all of them would be the first to admit that 7s was a hugely important part of their development as players.
Can you tell us a moment in rugby that has always stuck with you?
PJ: There are lots, to be honest, but from a 7s coaching point of view, it would be the World Cup in 2009, getting to the final of Hong Kong 7s in 2013, and the Asian Games in 2018.
Can you share some words with the Algarve 7’s fans? What can you promise to the fans?
PJ: We are looking forward to getting back to The Algarve 7s. hopefully, we can go one better this year.
Algarve 7s 2023 + Rugby Europe Championship Series
📌9 -11 June
📍Vila Real de Santo António Algarve - Portugal
Event by @sports_ventures
RUGBY EUROPE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
MEN ELITE 7S MEN OPEN 7S WOMEN OPEN 7S :::
event Sports Ventures