Anything but easy - HK face tough path to World Sevens SeriesSports | Mar 13, 2018
The 12-team qualifier will be played during the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens on April 6-8 - an event where the hosts are no stranger to heartaches in their bid for promotion to the World Series.
They face an early test in Pool F against the likes of Papua New Guinea and Germany.
Papua New Guinea have been toughened by playing in the Sydney and Hamilton legs of the World Series - one advantage of being in the Oceania region. Germany narrowly missed out on a World Series place last time, losing 12-7 to Spain in the final.
Japan, Uganda, Chile and Georgia are the World Series hopefuls in Pool E, while Ireland, Uruguay, Jamaica and Cook Islands make up Pool G.
In the main attraction at Hong Kong Stadium, Fiji face an early challenge in their quest for an unprecedented fourth successive title here after being drawn with New Zealand in Pool A.
The Fijians go into the showpiece in fine form after winning the Canada Sevens in Vancouver with a 31-12 victory over Kenya in the cup final.
Russia and Samoa complete Pool A of the 16-nation tournament which Fiji, with their flair and pace, have made their own.
Kenya face Australia, Spain and Canada in Pool B while South Africa have been drawn with England, Scotland and South Korea in Pool C. Team USA, who won their home sevens in Las Vegas earlier this month, are in Pool D with Argentina, Wales and France.
Meanwhile, women's sevens will be played on a bigger stage as the second full day of the Women's' Sevens Series qualifier will be played at the Stadium on April 6. The opening day of the tournament will be played at So Kon Po.
Hong Kong are in Pool B with Brazil, China and Kazakhstan. South Africa, Kenya, Papua New Guinea and Mexico make up Pool A, while Wales, Belgium, Argentina and Poland comprise Pool C.