Fresh from one of their best performances ever at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) has announced the Men’s Sevens squad to take part in the Tokyo Sevens. Tokyo is Hong Kong’s only non-host union appearance on the HSBC Sevens World Series 2012.
The squad selected for the Tokyo Sevens features three changes from that for the Hong Kong Sevens as Tsang Hing Hung, Fan Shun Kei and Jamie Hood come in to the team in place of forward Mark Goosen and backs Ally Maclay and Tim Alexander.
Rowan Varty will again captain the squad in Tokyo.
The draw for the Tokyo Sevens was completed on-event at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens with Hong Kong handed a challenging task after being pooled with HSBC Sevens World Series leaders New Zealand, Australia and the United States.
Goosen, Maclay and Alexander will be rested this weekend as Hong Kong intensifies its preparations for the HSBC Asian 5 Nations opener on May 5 in Hong Kong versus Korea.
HKRFU Head of Performance and Coaching/National Coach Dai Rees commented on his selection for Tokyo saying, “We were always looking to use 15 or 16 players over both of the Hong Kong and Tokyo legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series. This was designed to balance the tough turnaround over the two tournaments and also to transition players for the upcoming HSBC Asian 5 Nations. The three players left behind, Mark, Tim and Ally are all prominent 15s players who we have decided to leave behind for early preparation for the A5N.
“We are fortunate to be able to bring in two seasoned internationals Fan Shun Kei and Tsang Hing Hung and have decided to take Jamie Hood to replace Ally Maclay at the centre position and for his ability to provide specialist cover for Keith Robertson on Day 1 of the tournament.”
Turning point for Hong Kong. Photo Courtesy of Mike Pickles/PSI for HKRFU.
Despite a three-match ban for a spear tackle (picture above) in the quarter final of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens qualifier tournament last weekend, Keith Robertson has been selected for Tokyo.
“It is a two day competition and we know on Day 1 that we are up against the series leaders in New Zealand and sixth-ranked Australia. We know that we are capable of pushing Australia having being down there earlier in the season and we know that we are capable of pushing the USA who are in a transition phase.
“Day 2, we are going to be in the competition, but we’re probably going to be in the bottom half after Day 1. So we need our best team on Sunday to pressurise teams like Japan again and Portugal and Russia to be in the competition on Sunday. A fresh Keith Robertson on Day 2 will be a pretty potent player to have up my sleeve,” added Rees.
HKRFU Men’s Sevens Squad for Tokyo Sevens:
Rowan Varty (captain), Keith Robertson, Kwok Ka Chun, Tsang Hing Hung, Fan Shun Kei, Salom Yiu Kam-Shing, Lee Jones, Ross Armour, Tom McQueen, Jamie Hood, Alex McQueen, Anthony Haynes.
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