Hong Kong, 29 November 2011
The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) today announced the XVs Touring Squad for the inaugural Cup of Nations in Dubai. Hong Kong will join three nations Brazil, Kenya and the United Arab Emirates in a three Test match international competition between 10th-16th December.
The Nations Cup takes place a week after the highly anticipated Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens.
The tournament is the joint initiative of the HKRFU and the UAE Rugby Association and will give the opportunity for all four countries from three continents to play additional IRB sanction Test matches. The introduction of both Kenya and Brazil presents opportunities for all the teams to play against different styles of rugby not experienced previously within Asia.
HKRFU Head of Performance and Coaching Dai Rees is delighted that Hong Kong is participating in the tournament. Rees commented, “All the players and management are very excited about the prospects of playing two new international teams in Brazil and Kenya. It will be a great opportunity for the players to get exposure to good level Test rugby. It will help the players gauge where they are in terms of skills and tactical understanding of the game at international level, and more importantly continue our development with the focus on the preparation for the 2012 HSBC Asian 5 Nations.”
The touring squad includes many of the key players from the 2011 Asian 5 Nations (A5N), with a number of new players joining the international squad for the first time. Rees commented, “It allows Hong Kong to further develop the player base and blood new players in an international tournament outside the Asian Five Nations Competition. The new players include HKFC front row Ian Ridgeway, Tom Bolland, and Stephen Nolan who are joined by fellow HKFC second row Dan Watson, HKCC back row forward Bill Brant and Valley centre Ally MaClay complete the newly qualified IRB players in the squad. Locally born scrum half Cado Lee’s, continues to impress for Kowloon in the club premiership and is rewarded with his first international selection since returning to Hong Kong to study at HKU.”
Three players, Edward Haynes, Tom McQueen and Mike McKee, will return to the national squad follow time out due to injury and unavailability.
Rees concluded, “Following the successful 2011 A5N series, we have set the goal of winning all three matches and bring the inaugural Cup of Nations back home as an early Christmas present.”
The Hong Kong Squad:
1 Mike McKee (HKFC), 2 Alex McQueen (HKCC), 3 Rowan VARTY (DeA), 4 Adam RABY (HKFC), 5 YIU Kam Shing (Valley), 6 Tom McQUEEN (Valley), 7 Ally MACLAY (Valley), 8 Lee JONES (Valley), 9 Keith ROBERTSON (DeA), 10 Edward HAYNES (HKCC), 11 Tim ALEXANDER (Valley), 12 Pete MCKEE (HKFC), 13 Cado LEE (Kowloon), 14 Stephen NOLAN (HKFC).
15 Andrew LI (Kowloon),16 Ian RIDGWAY (HKFC), 17 Alex NG (Pontypool), 18 Alex HARRIS (Kowloon), 19 Tom BOLLAND (HKFC), 20 Charles FRENCH (HKCC), 21 Daniel WATSON (HKFC), 22 Mike WALLER (DeA), 23 Nick HEWSON (Valley), 24 Pale TAUTI (DeA), 25 Mark GOOSEN (Kowloon), 26 Bill BRANT (HKCC), 27 Terence MONTGOMERY (Valley), 28 Guy PAYN (HKFC).
Hong Kong national coach Dai Rees (left) Pic: Mike Jansen, Howzit-HongKong.com
Dai Rees (National Coach), Leigh Jones (Senior Coach), Andy Hall (Coach), Joe Shaw (Coach), Nathan Stewart (Fitness and Conditioning Coach), Dave Garrick (Physiotherapist), Aaron Smith (Physiotherapist),Simon Pang (Analyst).
(Additional image: RugbyAsia-Channel)
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