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By HSBC Waratahs Media Unit
The Qantas Men’s Sevens will take on New Zealand in a one-off Rugby Sevens match at Allianz Stadium next Sunday afternoon.
The match kicks off a trans-Tasman double header of afternoon Rugby, with the international exhibition Sevens match at 3pm and the HSBC Waratahs v Crusaders game taking place at 4.10pm this Sunday, April 29.
Made possible by HSBC, the Naming Rights sponsor of the HSBC Waratahs and Title Sponsor of the HSBC Sevens World Series, the match showcases the bank’s support and commitment to Rugby globally through the HSBC Sevens World Series and domestically, as demonstrated by HSBC’s proud 11-year partnership with the HSBC Waratahs Super Rugby.
“HSBC is committed to helping the growth and development of Rugby Sevens in the markets where it operates around the world, especially here in Australia,” said HSBC Bank Australia, CEO Paulo Maia.
“It’s an exciting time for Rugby Sevens as we build up to the 2016 Olympic Games and HSBC is proud to be a part of this journey.”
The exhibition game comes just before the Qantas Men’s Sevens head to the United Kingdom for the final two legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series, in Glasgow and London.
The Qantas Men’s Sevens are currently ranked sixth in the HSBC Sevens World Series and enter the final two rounds of the 2011/12 Series as Cup holders after emerging as tournament Champions at the Tokyo Sevens earlier this month. New Zealand tops the series standings.
Qantas Men’s Sevens coach Michael O’Connor knows the last two tournaments will be important for his side, as they look to finish the year strongly and says the international exhibition match on Sunday provides the squad with a good warm up to the next round in Glasgow.
“It’s a good opportunity to play a competitive match and get some more game time into the team,” said O’Connor.
“The opportunities for international competition outside of the HSBC Sevens World Series are few and far between, so it’s great to be able to play and to do so in front of an FxPro Super Rugby crowd.
“It will be good for our boys to get a game against the current HSBC Sevens World Series leaders and possibly the best Rugby Sevens team in the world.
“It’s also a great chance to get more exposure for the exciting, fast paced Olympic sport and I’d encourage everyone to make sure they get to Allianz Stadium early on Sunday to cheer on our Aussie guys and enjoy a great game of Rugby Sevens.”
With the HSBC Waratahs taking on Dan Carter and the Crusaders in one of the most eagerly awaited matches of the 2012 FxPro Super Rugby season later that same afternoon, the stage is set for a huge day of trans-Tasman Rugby this Sunday.
The popularity of afternoon footy was evident at last month’s daytime clash against the Sharks, when fans of all ages made the most of the return to the great tradition of afternoon footy, flocking to the SCG training field for the chance to meet Rocky Elsom, Dan Vickerman, Damien Fitzpatrick, Pat McCutcheon and Lachie Turner, before cheering the team to a memorable 34 – 30 victory over the visiting Sharks.
Tickets for Sunday’s round 10 FxPro Super Rugby match include the Sevens international exhibition match and with a free NSW Rugby Skills Clinic and player signing session taking place from 2pm in the Indoor Cricket Centre (near Gate A, Allianz Stadium), thousands of fans and families are expected to head to Moore Park early to make the most of what promises to be a two course afternoon feast of trans-Tasman Rugby.
With two wins from the last two matches and buoyed by the return of injured captain Rocky Elsom, the HSBC Waratahs will have everything to play for against an all-star Crusaders squad that includes Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks Dan Carter and Richie McCaw, as well as current All Blacks Sam Whitelock, Owen Franks, Israel Dagg, Corey Flynn, Zac Guildford, Kieran Read and Andy Ellis.
Tickets are available online from Ticketek priced from just $20 for adults, $10 for juniors and $40 for a family of four.
The inclusion of men’s and women’s Rugby Sevens in the 2016 Olympic Games is expected to boost the popularity of the shortened game even further over coming seasons. Said Paulo Mai, “Rugby Sevens is experiencing tremendous global growth, particularly here in Australia with the inaugural Gold Coast Sevens event proving to be a successful formula and the recent win for the Australian men’s team at the Tokyo tournament.
“HSBC’s investment in helping to grow and develop rugby internationally echoes the bank’s own strategy of unlocking the potential of emerging markets around the world.”