Canada Unofficially Invited to Champion of Champions tournament in Shanghai in October
posted July 18 2017
Usually the World Rugby 7s circuit starts in Dubai in December but this year there's a twist. It seems a collaboration between Alibaba money, World Rugby and China will see a tournament in October in Shanghai and it's being billed as the "richest" tournament ever in terms of prize money. What that money is hasn't been specified yet.
Canada with its 8th place finish last year apparently get a "top 8" invitation to the tournament. There's nothing official yet and the Fiji Rugby Union made the statement that they "have not received any official invitation" in an article today in Fiji Village. from Newshub NZ
Teams from the Sevens World Series including New Zealand and Fiji will converge on Shanghai in October this year for the richest ever rugby Sevens tournament.
In a sign that China is putting more of an focus on growing rugby union, the "Champion of Champions" tournament will be a playoff between the top eight ranked teams from the 2016/17 World Series event.
However, the China national team will also compete alongside the invited teams.
The tournament is funded and will be hosted by Alisports - the sports division of e-commerce giant Alibaba - which is attempting to lead the charge of putting rugby union on the map in China.
And it's hoped the likes of New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa and England will show their best rugby in order to get the Chinese public interested in the sport.
"On October 20 or late October, we will invite eight teams with the best records to Shanghai," said Alisports vice president Wei Quanming.
"This will be our first time hosting such a game. I think the eight countries will bring a sizable amount of fans from their home countries." Read More from South China Morning Post
China is to host the richest ever rugby sevens tournament, with the top eight finishers from the 2016-17 World Rugby Sevens Series to fight it out in the “Champion of Champions” in Shanghai in October.
The tournament, which is a similar concept to the eight-player ATP Finals in tennis, is part of a push to grow rugby in the country and it is hoped having the likes of Fiji, South Africa and New Zealand strut their stuff will help put the relatively unknown sport on the map.
“On October 20 or late October, we will invite eight teams with the best records to Shanghai,” said Alisports vice president Wei Quanming. “[The venue] will be in Yangpu district.”
“This will be our first time hosting such a game. I think the eight countries will bring a sizable amount of fans from their home countries.”
Earlier in the year, when discussing the possibility of the tournament, World Rugby chief Brett Gosper said it would feature the “highest ever prize money we have seen in sevens”.
Alisports – the sports division of e-commerce giant Alibaba, owner of the South China Morning Post – will host the tournament and is leading the charge as far as popularising rugby in China. Read More