All Blacks legend and 2011 Rugby World Cup winner Mils Muliaina will spearhead an awesome BGC Asia Pacific Barbarians (APB) squad at next month’s GFI HKFC Tens.
The 100-cap fullback is joined in an explosive line-up by fellow All Black Anthony Tuitavake and Fijian flyer Vilimoni Delasau, a RWC Sevens winner in 2005.
The Hong Kong-bound squad will be coached by another New Zealand great, former test captain Tana Umaga while South Africa’s 1995 RWC winner Chester Williams returns to Hong Kong to manage the side.
“I’m thrilled to be included in the APBs squad for the Tens and I’m very much looking forward to two days of exciting and competitive rugby,” said Muliaina, who now plays in Japan.
“I have some great memories of Hong Kong from playing in the Bledisloe Cup and Hong Kong Sevens.
“My teammate here in Japan, Takuro Miuchi, has told me what a great experience it is to play with the BGC APBs. It will be a pleasure to return to Hong Kong and pull on the boots again.”
The 2012 Tens will be held at Hong Kong Football Club from March 21-22 and Muliaina promised the APBs would be going all out to win the tournament.
“I know the APBs management and BGC Partners are putting together a world class squad and we are all hoping we can go one better this year and lift the Cup,” he said.
Umaga played in 74 tests – including 21 as captain – for New Zealand between 1997 and 2005.
“Having heard about the APBs from my fellow All Blacks who have been involved previously, I can’t wait to be part of this year’s set-up,” said the former centre. “I can promise fans we will be coming to entertain and play some explosive rugby.
“We will have a tremendous mix of Rugby World Cup greats and some highly talented individuals from around Asia Pacific. As a coach, I’m truly excited to be working with these players.”
Muliaina and his All Black teammates played Australia in only the second-ever Bledisloe Cup fixture outside of the two competing countries. The two teams hosted a fans-day ahead of the match:
Williams, meanwhile, carved his name in South African rugby history as the star winger in the team that lifted the 1995 World Cup.
“The amazing array of playing and coaching talent we are putting together for the Tens is a statement of intent with BGC Partners,” he said. “We are looking forward to playing at Hong Kong Football Club, meeting old friends and, hopefully, winning the Cup.
“For myself, it will be a fantastic experience to manage a team coached by Tana and featuring greats such as Mils, Anthony and Vilimoni. I’m looking forward to what should be a memorable tournament.”
The APBs management are currently finalising their squad for the Tens and say more star players will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
Some images of Chester Williams’ 2011 stint in Hong Kong:
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