The world’s best 7s rugby teams on the HSBC World Rugby 7s Series touched down in Singapore this evening, barely 24 hours after their exertions in the HSBC Hong Kong 7s.
Children from local schools and rugby clubs gathered at the official hotel, Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore, to give each team a rousing welcome and to get autographs from their favourite players.
American 7s rugby player Baker arrives to a warm welcome. Photo: Rugby Singapore
Among the early arrivals was the United States team who lost the bronze medal playoff 19-26 to Australia in yesterday’s Hong Kong 7s. Speed demon Perry Baker, who has scored 33 tries in seven tournaments so far this season received one of the loudest cheers as he stepped off the team bus.
“I think we played really well in Hong Kong but we just came up short,” said Baker, the 2014-15 World Rugby Rookie of the Year. “I can’t really ask for more from the guys. We have been in the mix in the last three tournaments and we are ready for Singapore. I’m feeling a bit sored right now, but we have a few days to recover and I will be out there on Saturday.”
Olympic champions Fiji beat current Series leader South Africa 22-0 in Sunday night’s final in Hong Kong for their first Series win this season and both squads arrived looking fresh and motivated.
“Overall we had a good tournament in Hong Kong, but in yesterday’s final, we made a lot of unforced errors and we will learnt something from the loss,” said Cecil Afrika, the Springboks Sevens all-time points scorer and 2011 World Player of the Year. “We lost a few key players before Hong Kong but we still made it into the final so that shows the depth of our squad. This is my fourth time visiting Singapore and it’s really good to be back. We are definitely ready to play some entertaining rugby this weekend.”
Also ready to entertain rugby fans at the National Stadium this weekend is former Singapore Idol finalist Leandra Rasiah. The Singaporean-born singer, dancer, host and actor, who made her mark in the first season of Singapore Idol finishing in the Top 5, will be performing popular hit songs and her own singles to an expected crowd of 29,000 rugby fans.
Former Singapore Idol finalist Leandra Rasiah. Photo: Rugby Singapore
The raspy-voiced 28-year-old, who’s father is Rick Lane a member of Motown group 'The Drifters', has performed at events like the Singapore International Jazz Festival and has opened for artistes such as Ziggy Marley and Rick Price. She has also performed for artistes including the late Michael Jackson, Joe Jackson, The Supremes, The Shirelles, Pharrell Williams, Maroon 5, The Braxton sisters and many more.
The HSBC Singapore Rugby 7s is the eighth leg of HSBC World Rugby 7s Series and over the weekend of April 15 and 16, rugby fans can expect world-class rugby action and ‘always on’ live entertainment at the National Stadium. Besides rocking to Leandra, rugby fans can also sing to the in-stadia karaoke session planned. Ten popular hit songs from different genres and eras had been chosen in an online poll so expect the loudest singing session ever at a sporting event in Singapore!
Two-day Category 1 tickets to the HSBC Singapore Rugby 7s are priced at SGD150 for adults, SGD65 for youths aged 12-18 years and SGD65 for children below 12. Family packages range from SGD140 (for one adult, one child) to SGD180 (for one adult, two children) and SGD260 (for two adults, two youths or children).
Those that prefer to watch from the lap of luxury may wish to consider Premium (SGD200), Platinum (SGD300) or the Sevens VIP Club (SGD1,600) packages for two days of world-class sports entertainment and hospitality. All prices are subject to booking fees and taxes.
To purchase tickets, visit www.singapore7s.sg