World Rugby media release
The top five teams in the Series standings – USA, New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa and England – all claimed victories in their first group phase games on the opening day in front of another huge crowd at the Hong Kong Stadium, which also witnessed the first two pool matches in the Men’s World Rugby Sevens Series Qualifier 2019.
With just eight pool matches played in the Cathay Pacific/HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event on day one, it was England’s Dan Norton who grabbed the headlines as he surpassed Kenya’s Collins Injera to become the new all-time leading Hong Kong sevens try-scorer with 32 tries.
Norton’s try kick-started a significant English comeback against Wales. Despite holding a 15-game sevens series winning streak over Wales, they went into half-time 19-5 down. Norton crossed one minute into the second half and England then dominated to secure a 29-19 victory.
The ten-point win sets Simon Amor’s team on the right track and they will be well-aware of the importance of going as far as possible in Hong Kong with just a few rounds remaining after this one. At the end of the 2019 series the top four teams will qualify directly for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. England are Team GB’s designated qualifying outfit, and with just 33 points separating the top five teams going into this seventh stage it’s all to play for.