Charter a private jet to the Hong Kong Sevens
It’s rugby, but faster. Instead of 15 players a side, each side fields seven players, and instead of 40 minutes, each half lasts only seven minutes. On average, a typical team possesses the ball for 208 seconds and scores 18 points – that’s a strike rate of one try per minute. Welcome to the fast pace and endless thrills of rugby Sevens – a game famous for sporting spirit, on-field camaraderie and enthusiastic crowd participation.
Rugby Sevens originated in the 1880s in Melrose, Scotland, where a Sevens tournament is still played every year, and where the first international tournament was held in 1973. It was drop-kicked into the modern era by the inaugural Hong Kong Sevens in 1976, and included in the Commonwealth Games from 1998. The annual World Rugby Sevens Series was established in 1999, and rugby Sevens became an Olympic sport in 2016, with a women’s tournament making its Commonwealth Games debut in 2018. Its popularity as a spectator sport has soared, thanks to the pace, the high strike rate, an exciting display of running and handling skills, and a reputation for admirable on-field conduct.
Seven ways Sevens is different
It’s more fun to watch when you understand the game, so to get you started, here are seven ways that rugby Sevens is different from a standard rugby game:
- Each team has seven players on the field, instead of 15
- Each team has five substitutes, and five interchanges are allowed
- Each half lasts for seven minutes, with a maximum of two minutes of half-time
- If a match is a draw, it continues into multiple five-minute periods of extra time until there’s a winner
- Conversion attempts must be drop-kicked, not place-kicked, and must be taken within 30 seconds of a try being scored
- Scrums consist of three players a side, not eight
- A yellow card suspends a player for two minutes (not 10).
Who are the champions?
This important question is decided by the annual World Rugby Sevens Series, which is played between November and May, and consists of 10 tournaments held across five continents. Events are hosted by the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and England. Each tournament has 16 teams, and the team that accumulates the most points wins the World Series title.
New Zealand has dominated the format, winning the first six seasons, but season titles have also gone to Fiji, Samoa and South Africa.
The most famous Sevens of them all
The Hong Kong Sevens, the seventh played in the annual World Rugby Sevens Series, is the most famous of all the tournaments in the series. It is held annually on a weekend in late March or early April and unlike other tournaments, that take place over two days, the Hong Kong Sevens is a three-day affair characterised by a festive atmosphere.
A two-day women’s tournament is held in the two days leading up to the men’s event, and local children’s clubs play tournaments before each of the main matches. For spectators, the South Stand of the Hong Kong Stadium is the place to be. You can dress up, you can dance, and although you definitely shouldn't streak naked across the field, someone almost always does.
Alternatively, you can watch the action on big screens at the aptly titled, ‘Sevens Village’ outside the stadium, with plenty of eating and drinking during the tournament, and Champagne and DJs after.
Charter a private jet and join the party in Hong Kong
Private jet charter is available to Sevens supporters who want to get to Hong Kong in the fastest, most luxurious way. These are the airports most conveniently located in relation to the Hong Kong Stadium:
Hong Kong International Airport is also known as Chek Lap Kok Airport, due to its location on reclaimed land on the island of Chek Lap Kok. With around 70 million passengers passing through annually, it is the eighth busiest airport in the world, and the busiest in Asia. The airport is destined for massive expansion over the next decade under a development blueprint known as the Master Plan 2030. It’s home to the Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre, which provides services for executive and private aircraft and passengers. It is located just over 40 km from the Hong Kong Stadium, where the Sevens tournament takes place.
Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport is located 55 km from Hong Kong Stadium and serves the city of Shenzhen in Guangdong Province. It is the fifth busiest airport in China, with over 26 million passengers passing through the gates per year. The third terminal, which opened in 2013, features spectacular modern architecture by celebrated Italian architect Massmiliano Fuksas. A Ground Transportation Centre connects passengers to nearby cities via bus, taxi and metro trains.
Shek Kong Airfield in Hong Kong’s New Territories is a military air base housing units of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, but is open to private aircraft on weekends. It has a fascinating and complex history that includes being a Royal Airforce station known as RAF Sek Kong before the British Handover of Hong Kong to China, and a Vietnamese Refugee Detention Centre in the early nineties. It is the closest airport to Hong Kong Stadium – the 33 km distance takes just 36 minutes by car and 90 minutes by train.
Luxury hotels near Hong Kong Stadium
Hong Kong is notorious for traffic congestion, so it makes sense to book your stay in a hotel that’s within walking distance of the Sevens action. Here’s our pick of luxury hotels in the area:
Lanson Place Hotel is set in a 19th-Century French-style building 700 metres from the Stadium, in a popular shopping precinct. It is equally well located for shopping for luxury brands such as Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Chanel.
The Fleming Hong Kong is 1.6 km from the stadium and located in one of Hong Kong’s coolest neighbourhoods, Wan Chai. It features classic décor inspired by Hong Kong’s iconic cross-harbour ferries.
Little Tai Hang, 900 metres from Hong Kong Stadium, features cosy rooms with stunning views of Victoria Harbour. It’s a great location from which to explore local street food options and restaurants.
While you’re in Hong Kong, why not:
- Catch a ride on the iconic Star Ferry between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island
- Take the Peak Train to the highest point on Hong Kong Island, 1,300 feet above sea level
- Visit the world’s largest outdoor seated Buddha at the Po Lin Monastery
- Go treasure-hunting at the Temple Street Night Market – a colourful and eclectic street bazaar
- Join local revellers in Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong’s most popular nightlife area.
If you would like to charter a private aircraft for you and your friends or family to enjoy the Hong Kong Sevens tournament, then contact our offices so we can get the ball rolling!