In past years, Hong Kong was something of a showcase on the IRB Sevens Series. Its expanded tournament format allowed for some great storylines, as minnow nations got their shot at taking on the world's elite. This year the Hong Kong Sevens will play out slightly differently.
Finally, after far too long, the International Rugby Board (IRB) has offered a promotion and relegation pathway for the Series; last year, Hong Kong hosted that event. This season, the IRB has moved the qualifying process to the final stop of the season in London; however, Hong Kong is still set to retain something of its traditionally important role.
Where once the tournament boasted 24 national teams in competition, this year's edition will only feature the normal compliment of 16. But while the usual series competitors fight and claw for every available point in the IRB standings, 12 other teams will be battling for the right to compete in the promotional tournament later this year in London.
With a total of 28 nations in action, this year's Hong Kong Sevens—despite the changes—promises to be one of the most important in recent memory.
We're here to break down all of the action for you in this Bleacher Report analysis of the main tournament draw.
We begin with a very tough Pool A; one which many observers will be rightly labelling the pool of death.