United States looking to wow Hong Kong, home of world's craziest fans


Hong Kong is still the craziest leg of the HSBC World Rugby Seven Series and I cannot wait to run out at the stadium in front of all of those incredible fans wearing their fancy dress and having a real ball.

You have some of the best players in the world playing, being watched by the best fans in the sport and the whole stadium seems to be in permanent uproar!

It has set the standard for fan enjoyment and we have seen how other venues have followed their lead and really got into the spirit of Sevens and that makes it such a fantastic competition for the players. You get swept along by the enthusiasm.

After winning Las Vegas and moving to within touching distance of top four place in the standings, everyone involved with the United States' squad is ready for the challenge. To become a top four team, we need to be more consistent and take better care of the ball, and staying on the same page will be key in Hong Kong to achieve that goal.

We have been getting better every tournament and the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco in July has been a factor in everything we have been trying to achieve.

The Hong Kong Sevens is where it all took off for the format and it still has a leading role in spreading the sport in Asia and throughout the world. It is great to see the impact that HSBC's Try Rugby Programme is having because it gives young people the chance to experience the game at an early age, helping the future of the sport in the region.

Fiji, the defending champions, are second in the table and have been showcasing their skills with a series of great performances and with the Commonwealth Games in Australia affecting the selections of a number of teams, it will be a very youthful South African Sevens squad that will try to hang on to top spot.

The injury suffered by Australia's Sevens captain James Stannard, which means he misses the Games, was a shock for everyone involved in the Series and we all wish him a speedy recovery. James is really well known and drives his team -- it is sad and unfortunate but he is hoping to be back in time for the World Cup in San Francisco.

Fiji bring that incredible skill factor to the party in every leg of the Series and it is amazing how they move and control the ball. I believe that is evolving all the time which is a challenge for every team. Humidity in Hong Kong is not much of a problem because I find it helps you stay looser and it will only really become a factor for the teams when we get to Singapore.

Since Vancouver, we have been doing a lot of recovery work because there was a lot of rugby played with the back-to-back tournaments in Las Vegas and Canada. Each player in the squad had a lot of game time and so we concentrated on recovery and then started stepping it up again for Hong Kong.

The last couple of legs have gone well and I am really enjoying making the most of the opportunities and hopefully we can deliver more excitement for the fans in Hong Kong.