Rugby World Cup Sevens to host "Nations Welcome" celebration to kick off tournament weekend

Welcome Ceremony Presented by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, San Francisco. Event is Open to the Public and Free to Attend

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 event organizers announced today a free-to-the-public event on July 19 that will officially welcome the competing countries and their representative teams to San Francisco. The Welcome Ceremony is being sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in San Francisco.

Starting at 5:00 P.M. in Embarcadero Plaza, at the foot of San Francisco's Market Street, the Welcome Ceremony will feature the men and women of the 40 teams competing in Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018.

"Our office is proud to present the Welcome Ceremony and be a celebration partner of the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco," said Ivanhoe Chang, Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in San Francisco. "Rugby has long been a key event on Hong Kong's sporting event calendar. Every year, rugby players and fans from around the world descend on Hong Kong to experience the excitement of the Hong Kong Sevens, the premier tournament in the World Rugby Sevens Series. This April, we welcomed 28 teams and 120,000 spectators over the three-day tournament. In addition, Hong Kong stages many other international sports events, from marathons and equestrian events to E-Prix and regattas"

In addition to the welcome festivities, the event will begin with a special performance by a cast member from Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon, San Francisco's hilarious pop culture musical revue, as well as feature a Cantonese Opera act. Cantonese Opera is considered one of the most representative traditional art forms in Hong Kong.

"Our partnership with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office enables us to celebrate tremendous athletes with their fans before the competition begins," said Rosie Spaulding, General Manager, Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018. "We're excited about what this landmark Rugby World Cup will mean for the sport of rugby in the United States, and feel there is no better city to host it than San Francisco."

The first Rugby World Cup on American soil, Rugby World Cup Sevens will be played at AT&T Park July 20-22, 2018. The foremost stand-alone in international rugby sevens competition, Rugby World Cup 2018 will see the best teams from around the globe - 24 men's and 16 women's - compete for the coveted title of Rugby World Cup champions. Competing nations / territories include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, England, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Tonga, Uganda, Uruguay, United States of America, Wales and Zimbabwe.

Over the course of three days, international pride will be running high at AT&T Park. With just seven minutes per half and seven players on the field, the tournament's new innovative knock-out match schedule means both high stakes and high displays of athleticism. This is the first time knockout-style play will be seen in a Rugby World Cup. In addition to the excitement on the pitch, Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 will feature live entertainment and pageantry throughout the tournament, replete with fans dressed in country colors and costume.

A limited number of single-day tickets and three-day passes are still available for purchase. For more information about the Welcome Ceremony and how to purchase tickets visit rwcsevens.com/tickets.