Japan wins Qualifiers, returns to HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series


Just as quickly as it takes for a rugby sevens match to be contested, a nearly-assured victory can change to heartbreak.  On the final day of the 2018 HSBC World Rugby Men’s Sevens Series Qualifiers in Hong Kong, the latest victim of that swift reversal of fortune was Germany.

Leading 14-12 and down to the very last play, it had appeared that Germany had locked up a spot in next season’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and an opportunity to boost the profile of the sport back home.  Instead, it was Japan who moved back to core status after being relegated last season, thanks to a try by Masahiro Nakano that eventually propelled the squad to a 19-12 victory.

Traditionally a sevens powerhouse in Asia, Japan has won the last three Asian Games and is looking ahead to defending that title later this year in Indonesia.  They will also compete at the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in July in San Francisco.

Photos: 2018 HSBC World Rugby Men’s Sevens Series Qualifiers – Japan 19, Germany 14
all photos by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine