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All-China St Patrick's Day rugby tournament comes to Kunming

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After hibernating through the winter and across Spring Festival, rugby returns to the Spring City on Saturday, March 17. It's time for St Patrick's Day Sevens! The fastest, most accessible, and most exciting version of the game, Sevens are aptly named as they feature seven players a side and two seven minute halves.

This time around, hosts Kunming Tigers Rugby Club will field men's and women's sides — the Flying Tigers and the Crouching Tigers. They will welcome teams from Kunming, Beijing, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Chongqing, and introduce them all to Kunming's famous hospitality and spring weather.

The games are being held at the same time as an Irish holiday, and the teams on the field reflect a truly international game. Players hailing from China, USA, Italy, France, South Africa, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Germany, Australia, the UK, Belgium and Nigeria will take to the pitch. And that's just the Tigers squad.

Oh yeah, the Flying Tigers can actually fly
Oh yeah, the Flying Tigers can actually fly

Despite short match times, Rugby Sevens puts players' endurance to the test, as fewer athletes have to cover a full pitch. Smaller and faster player are more at home and real speed is a massive asset. Evasion, quick passing, quick thinking and keeping the ball alive are all important. Though still full-contact, there are fewer collisions than in the fifteen-a-side version, making Sevens a fast-paced and extremely spectator-friendly sport.

Rugby Sevens has always embraced a party atmosphere, a fact incredibly evident at hugely successful international events like the Hong Kong Sevens. With that in mind, Kunming Rugby invites any and everyone to come on down to the south fields at Kunming University of Finance and Economics on Longquan Lu. Get out early this St Patrick's Day and enjoy the matches, the sun and maybe, just maybe, a cold beer or two. Games run from 10am to 4pm.

The party will continue in the evening with a dinner for the players followed by an all-night party kicking off at 10pm at the Green Lake location of O'Reilly's Irish Pub. St Patrick's Day drink specials and a guaranteed memorable night await. Come and meet the guys and girls from China Rugby!

Images: Kunming Rugby

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