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Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby Ser Podrick of Payne » Sat, 21 Sep 2019, 07:27

Mongolia winning 19 - 12 in the second half...

The Mongolian scrum is strong.

Final score was 19 - 17 to Mongolia, who played positively at the end, taking tap penalties from their own half instead of kicking for territory. Of course we can't know the strength of the Taiwan team.

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby Canalina » Sat, 21 Sep 2019, 08:57

Very glad about that; even if, as you say, we don't know how much complete this Taiwan select was

Often we don't think (or at least I don't think) about these games' costs: there's a direct flight from Taipei to Ulan Bator but it costs 500/600 euro per person. With a group of thirty people it becomes a 30.000 euro expense, return leg included. Not a small amount for a medium/little federation

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby 4N » Sat, 21 Sep 2019, 16:15

Since rugby was introduced to Mongolia most of the stories center on big wrestlers dominating the scrums. It’s the national sport there and famously some have gone to Japan and found success in sumo. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few guys kicking around capable of being pro front rowers. If I were scouting for a Japanese club I would have a look there.

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby Canalina » Mon, 23 Sep 2019, 16:23

Mongolian-Taiwan rugby festival 2019
The Rugby Union of Mongolia successfully hosted the 2019 Mongolia-Taiwan Rugby Festival on 21 September at the Central Stadium. The Mongolian rugby team beat Taiwan's national team 19-17.
The game started at 14 o'clock in the 10th minute and the Mongolian national team striker Gansuka left the offensive against the Taiwan national team and took the first shot to make 7-0.
In the 16th minute, the Taiwanese national team won the title by Lee Hong On 7-5.
In the 20th minute, Mongolia's strongest attack was taken by Bayarmanlai, and the extra kick was eliminated by Ganssaikhan.
Taiwan's national team advanced to Lee Chee Jung Taen and added the competition to Wu Chuen in 14-12.
B.Bat-Erdene, Mongolian national athlete, took Dick by the 19th and took 19-12.
In the 74th minute, Taiwan's national team attacked Chen Kai Yoon Tae and took the team's 19-17 lead.
The Mongolian national team won the first international team in their homeland.

Nice photos (there was also a women's 7s triangular with two mongolian teams and the Beijing Aardvarks) here
https://www.facebook.com/MongolianRugby/

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby victorsra » Wed, 09 Oct 2019, 13:56

It looks like François Trnh-Duc is in Vietnam and helping the guys from Saigon RC. He's Vietnamese heritage. https://www.facebook.com/saigonrugbyclub/
Maybe Vietnam is close to apply for Asia Rugby membership?
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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby victorsra » Sat, 14 Dec 2019, 14:34

https://www.asiarugby.com/2019/12/14/pr ... o-vietnam/

Vietnam will work on the buiding of its rugby federation to get Asia Rugby membership. Vietnam is pretty much the big country missing in Asian rugby.

Hanoi will host the 2021 South East Asia Games, that has rugby sevens. Pretty much Bolivia's story when they got Sudamerica Rugby membership prior to host the South American Games.


Meanwhile, final standings of the Asia Rugby U19s competitions:

First division (in Chinese Taipei/Taiwan): 1 Hong Kong (qualified to the WR U20s Trophy), 2 Korea, 3 Chinese Taipei/Taiwan, 4 Singapore (relegated)

2nd division (in China): 1 Sri Lanka (promoted), 2 Philippines, 3 Thailand, 4 China (relegated)
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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby Canalina » Wed, 18 Dec 2019, 07:30

Asia Rugby released the first 2020 calendar, even if still with many tournaments to be confirmed and inserted

https://www.asiarugby.com/calendar-2020/

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby victorsra » Wed, 18 Dec 2019, 12:20

ARMD2: Thailand v China; Pakistan v Chinese Taipei

Based on this, 2 teams were relegated from Div 2: Kazakhstan and Guam. The Kazakhs finished 3rs in 2019... were they realy relegated or just withdrew?
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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby Canalina » Mon, 30 Dec 2019, 08:55

Just a video about Kyrgyz rugby
The level seems apparently quite low; maybe it's because of the emotion to be recorded but in the video report they keep dropping the ball... The reportage is in russian so I don't understand anything, but it seems to me to hear something like "one only team in Kyrgyzstan". Anyway, an other article by the same source (mir24.tv) seem saying instead that there are various teams in the country



The rugby national team of Kyrgyzstan can be considered one of the most unique in the world. Because there is not a single civilian in it - all officers. And this has its own explanations.
Unlike football, rugby has not gained worldwide popularity. Mostly it is played in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. Therefore, it was unexpected to find the national team of this sport in Kyrgyzstan. Everything else, in this team everyone is accustomed to walk in line and stand to the last for their honor and the honor of the country. Because the list of players includes officers.
The coach of the Kyrgyz team - Alexander Zolotukhin - is also in uniform. He graduated from the Institute of Physical Education and the Police Academy. Works in the National Guard, rank - senior lieutenant. He has been leading the team since 2012, being not just a coach and mentor, but also an active player.
“I did military service. And there I was taught to play rugby, and then I played abroad for our team and a legionnaire for different clubs. And so I gained experience, ”he says.
Zolotukhin complains that not so many people know about rugby in Kyrgyzstan. Meanwhile, in some countries it is rugby that helps to develop tourism. In Georgia, this game is a national sport. In Kyrgyzstan, rugby began to develop relatively recently - since 2001. The team consists of 15 people, the backbone is made up of soldiers of the National Guard. But this game is also played in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in the internal troops and in the State Committee for National Security. The Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs even has its own rugby stadium. But due to problems with financing, many guys are not able to fully open up. Although this game is developing not only in the capital. In addition to Bishkek, rugby is gaining popularity in Naryn, Chui and Issyk-Kul oblasts. There are teams in Jalalabad and Osh.
This game requires a lot of attention to yourself. Classes last 2 hours and take place at least 5-6 times a week. They include a small warm-up and a functional load on the body, in particular training of the arms and shoulders. Perhaps it is because of the strict training schedule and high physical exertion among civil rugby - the game is unpopular. But as a military-applied, this sport was the most suitable.
“Rugby is perfect, like training tactical actions. After it, a person is able to make decisions in emergency situations in a split second, quickly. Among other things, this is a training of flexibility, coordination of movements. There is a complete eradication of fear of frontal attacks, ”says Zolotukhin.
Another rugby for domestic players is the opportunity to once again feel a reliable rear.
“When I started playing, I did not think that so many people would worry about me. Our wives, friends, colleagues, everyone who serves in the internal troops, all together come to the competitions. Sometimes there are no seats in the stands - there are so many who want to support the team. And this is a special class of emotions, you recharge from this empathy, ”says the officer and athlete Temirlan Ishembekov.
Team spirit and support of loved ones are all that these athletes need to win. They don’t have tattoos on their bodies, they don’t have an awesome ritual dance, as, for example, the New Zealand team. But there are exercises that help you tune in to the game. For example, they all lie on the field, hold each other by the shoulders and simultaneously pump the press. It is necessary to do 2 sets of 10 times. If someone is behind, then the countdown starts anew.
“It gives team cohesion. We mainly focus on this. We are the military. The main thing for us is to feel that someone is behind us, that we are not alone and are ready then to defeat everyone in the world, ”says player of the national team Haldar Bek uulu.
The national team of Kyrgyzstan plays Rugby-7. It is this species that is considered Olympic. And the athletes have a hope that one day we will see them at big games. Moreover, the domestic team already has little experience of traveling abroad. Players recently visited the Commonwealth Cup in Moscow and took 2nd place.

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby Canalina » Mon, 30 Dec 2019, 09:00

PS: the sponsor of the Kyrgyz national team, "Giordano", is just apparently italian. "Giordano" is an Hong Kong brand of clothes' stores; during a holiday in New York the eventual creator of the enterprise saw a paper napkin with the line "Giordano Pizza" and he thought that that italian sounding name was a good one for a brand of clothes...

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby victorsra » Tue, 31 Dec 2019, 13:40

So there was a Former USSR Commonwealth Cup for national teams that we didn't know about?
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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby victorsra » Tue, 31 Dec 2019, 14:11

Have we missed this article about India? Very interesting

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ma ... 747237.cms
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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby gibbs » Wed, 01 Jan 2020, 09:29

Interview: Andrew Chambers and Tsunami Sport

HOME » ASIAN RUGBY NEWS INTERVIEWS
Interview: Andrew Chambers and Tsunami Sport
rugbyasia247POSTED ON MARCH 11, 20190973 Views





Image
Tsunami Sport Eco fitAndrew Chambers USRC Tigers
Andrew Chambers USRC Tigers

Andrew Chambers is the founder and CEO of Tsunami Sport, is a well-known rugby and sporting clothing apparel brand that has kitted out national, regional and club rugby teams around the world. In addition, Andrew represented Hong Kong rugby at XVs and 7sand knows the Hong Kong rugby scene very well. He is also not afraid to speak his mind.

As a passionate rugby person, Andrew shares his tale with RugbyAsia247 of coming up through the ranks of HK rugby, how Tsunami is changing the industry to be more eco-friendly, and why rugby development strategy in Hong Kong and the region could be improved.

Rugby Roots: Andrew Chambers and Hong Kong Rugby
Hi Andrew, thanks for speaking to us. Can you tell us about your rugby background in Hong Kong?

I came to Hong Kong in 1981 with my parents. Dad, being a keen rugby player, had me down at the Kai Tak Mini rugby club for Under 6 sessions as soon as I was old enough.

I returned to HK as an RDO (Rugby Development Officer) after I had spent 5 years at school and University abroad. While I was studying, I kept myself strongly involved in rugby, playing for Bedford RFC & representative sides around the country (England) as well as working for the RFU (Rugby Football Union) as a development officer.



Image
Andrew Chambers HK 7s
Andrew Chambers at the HK 7s

As well as returning to an RDO role in Hong Kong, I also returned to playing rugby for the same club where it all started. However, the club had changed its name to DeA Tigers RFC. My decision to move back to HK opened up opportunities I had not envisioned for myself. Not only was I working in rugby as a coach, which I have a great passion for, but I was playing rugby at a club that was incredibly multicultural and competitive in the HK Premiership.

This was without a doubt my fondest memory of playing rugby.



We had a side full of the “Hong Kong golden generation” of local players and we were complemented by some truly brilliant New Zealand, Fijian, and Samoan rugby players.

We were also fortunate to have had a coach (Jim Walker) who brought a lot of passion and was pushing us into the national rugby programs. This was not something I had thought possible for myself. After only six months in HK, I found myself collecting my first XV’s cap at fullback for Hong Kong rugby but then I also made the HK 7s squad.

Along with a handful of other local players. I was extremely lucky to experience HK national team rugby for another decade. It’s probably the only place in the world, an average rugby player can find himself in an international rugby arena and have 40,000+ fans cheering you on.

I still strap on the boots with the USRC Tigers old boys (the new name of Andrew’s childhood club) and I still enjoy having a run out with my mates and my brother. Rugby is just great. But recovery certainly takes longer these days!

The Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers ladies have just won the KPMG Women’s 2019 premiership title in Hong Kong this past weekend.

Tsunami Sport: Origins
When did you start Tsunami Sport and why did you want to start a sports clothing/apparel company?

We started the brand in 2003. It was myself and a mate who I played rugby with at Bedford RFC, and later at the DeA Tigers, Nigel Clarke. Having both worked within the rugby industry, we recognised the need for quality apparel and felt it wasn’t readily available at the time. So with a few meetings with the right people who could make it possible, we gave it a go.

And quite a journey it has been since then. It seems as if more recently you have been at the forefront of driving eco-clothing wear with Tsunami. At what point did you see a need for a change and how receptive have your customers and the industry been?

The Eco aspect of our business is something that was not immediate but it is certainly at the forefront of everything we do at Tsunami today. It was in 2005 when we met with a manufacturing mill that had new technology in repurposing plastic bottles into fabric.

We had already discussed concerns about the impact that the textile industry had on the environment and we had agreed to seek better practices with regards to waste management, improved working environments etc. So although this technology was not something we had imagined, we did, however, see it as a hugely exciting and innovative step and embraced it immediately.

Teamwear and school uniforms are heavily driven by cost. Sadly this mindset is still very much at the forefront of the customer’s decision-making. The purpose of our products is that they tend to only have a planned 1-2 year life-cycle. Sponsors change, kids grow up etc.



But we were adamant that we wanted to make products that lasted. Utilising high-quality functional recycled PET (plastic) fabrics, and with awesome designs.

What I find truly remarkable is that people will haggle down the cost of a rugby shirt that will last 5 years or more for the cost of half a pint (in HK prices)!

The perceived value of the product has been hugely devalued through the market being swamped with brands. This means competitors have continued to find means to save; cheaper fabrics, cheaper workmanship, poor factory quality etc.

At Tsunami, we have gone the other way and are trying to drag the industry up. We do this by developing environmentally-friendly driven fabrics and practices with Tsunami Eco. This includes our packaging.

We hope that the market will see the long-term value in this. I believe with the growing awareness of climate change, and the relevancy of the catastrophic effects that our use of plastic is having on our, environment that people will start looking more into how and where products are being made and ultimately seek products that are working for benefit of the environment, not destroying it.

We have over the past few years seen a significant change in the public and our customers mindset. The world is waking up to the damage we are doing to our planet and how their buying habits can affect this. We are excited that the rugby, and team wear market, now have an alternate environmentally-friendly driven option.



Tsunami Touch ECO wear

Tsunami has also fine-tuned many of the industry’s traditional manufacturing methods. From the factory layout to the inks we use for our garments. We strive for a zero-waste policy from our manufacturing processes and are very close to achieving this. Our packaging and the methods used encourage them to be reusable while also recyclable or biodegradable.

We have some very exciting projects being tested at Tsunami and I am looking forward to releasing further innovative fabrics and procedures to the team wear market in the near future. There is a balancing act also as we must remain competitive in the market. Our efforts will be in vain if the consumer doesn’t see value in these steps being implemented.

The great thing is, there are always evolving technologies that we are always eager to adopt, and I’m super excited about where we are going as a company.

Aside from the Eco-side, in what ways does Tsunami-Sport try to “give back” to rugby?

This is a key driver from our side. It complements the environmental message we hope to deliver. Hong Kong, in particular, is spoilt for playing kit. The volume you receive is excessive. So we work with a number of charities and individuals to get the excess or redundant kits to those less fortunate. Some of the destinations that our second-hand kit has made it to Rwanda, Kenya, Cambodia, Laos, China & Hong Kong. We also work with a number of environmental initiatives which give back in different ways.



What are your proudest moments as a rugby player and with Tsunami-Sport?

In rugby, to have come through the Hong Kong rugby system from an early age (U6) to finishing with HK7s & national team colours, makes me very proud. Playing for HK, my home for 38 years, is something I will look back on with great pride.

With Tsunami, I am just proud that we have stuck to our guns in making significant changes to our industry. We believe we are leading the industry to a better place and spreading a positive environmental message to our customer base.

Hong Kong Rugby: What improvements can be made?

Being based in Hong Kong, rugby is more privileged (access to clubs, equipment, opportunities) than most of Asia. Would you agree with that, and do you think HK and those involved in rugby have any additional responsibility to the game?

I believe Hong Kong is in a very privileged place, financially. Given the multiple revenue streams that the HKRU (Hong Kong Rugby Union) has available, it has opportunities and a strategic plan that many rugby unions around the world could only dream of. This leaves HK with a very privileged and elite program. But this does not collate to a healthy development program in my opinion, nor the perfect domestic club scene.

Due to this financial advantage, I believe Hong Kong has an important role and responsibility to the regional rugby scene. I also believe they have a responsibility to support the wider sports scene within HK. However, I don’t think this is happening as well as it could.

Rugby World Cup 2019

Rugby World Cup 2019

You need to only look at the latest focus to qualify for the Rugby World Cup 2019 and the money being pushed into the elite rugby programme in HK. I ask the question often;What would the benefits have been of HK qualifying for a Rugby World Cup?

A tiny number of the local rugby playing community played a part in this process, many of whom have none, or a very small connection to HK.


These are not players Hong Kong Rugby has developed. The HK team who were playing in the repechage tournament is not a result of a positive development pathway.

It’s a short term vision that has cost a huge amount of money and would have only really benefited a small number of people. I certainly feel the national team and the local rugby community couldn’t be more disconnected then they are now.

Hong Kong Rugby facilities

The allocation of these financial riches are misplaced and the spending certainly has not been justifiable. Hong Kong lacks adequate sporting facilities. It lacks a worthwhile club scene, and it is short of experienced referees who can meet the expectations of the professional and semi-professional players it has employed.

The money would have been far better allocated in fixing or addressing these issues. The amount of money spent on Hong Kong’s national program and the massive employment of admin staff by HKRU has not been well-directed or positively affecting the wider local rugby community.

Asia Rugy: Local and regional player development

Regionally, Asia Rugby needs to build on the positive steps it started with the A5N (Asia 5 Nations, now called the Asia Rugby Championship) and also the regional 7s series.

But this needs to be about building within the indigenous communities. Not pockets of expats.

Japan and Hong Kong need to be part of this. It’s Japan’s and HK’s responsibility to pull up the other Asian nations, as well as support them where they can, by sharing their knowledge and resources in building their local rugby game.

Currently, to my knowledge, Hong Kong’s active commitment to emerging regions comes from individuals or clubs in HK. I’d like to hope that maybe I am wrong. The Pot Bellied Pigs RFC does work in the Philippines, Kowloon Club and Clive Hammond help out Laos Rugby, David Hughes is involved with Rwandan rugby, Chris Garvey assists with rugby development in Laos and Cambodia, and Peter Clough does amazing work with the kit collection in HK and distributes them with rugby clubs in Fiji. These are the names that immediately jump out to me in terms of active participants who support regional rugby development.

This is more an Asia Rugby responsibility, not only the HKRU. But I assume we have enough (resources and finances) to spread the love around the region. And those names that I mentioned do a great job in doing so under the HK-based banner.

What about your personal views on the game and its development. Where do you see opportunities for federations in Asia or HK specifically to make the game more inclusive and accessible?

HK Rugby Elite Program

Credit: Coconuts.coconuts.co/hongkong/ HK Rugby Elite Program

Firstly, I think it’s important to say that I don’t play any role with HKRU. Partly down to my differentiating thoughts on the strategic plan they implement, and my views on what I personally believe to be best for Hong Kong Rugby.

If we look at HK, I believe we have taken massive steps backward in building the game. The drive to qualify, and later fail to make the 2019 Rugby World Cup, has come at a huge cost. Not just financial, but I feel it has also taken the game back to being perceived as a game for expats. HK has too many clubs and not enough have local rugby development pathways.

Rugby pathways in Hong Kong rugby

I think all HK rugby clubs should be linked to local schools and be responsible for developing and bringing the game to local areas. The schools league should be a feeder system into the super clubs from Mini and Colts rugby. Then naturally, onto representing the many levels of adult rugby available within the leagues for both men & women.

All clubs should provide vets, senior men’s and ladies teams in each league. While also being accountable for rugby development of schools within their catchment areas. The resources have been very cleverly built by the HKRFU, with many clubs having World Rugby Level 3 plus coaches. These should be filtering into the community. Not only focusing on building a super national-team coaching setup.

Without community rugby in Hong Kong, the national teams will not prosper.

With that in mind you must have sustainability, that isn’t possible by paying expats to play professionally in a small six-team Premiership league.


Mini’s rugby in Hong Kong
Minis rugby Hong Kong

We have a brilliant Mini’s rugby scene in HK with over 30+ teams and 5000+ players. As well as a very positive girls game evolving. Yet we are not seeing this volume of players graduate into the senior’s game. Most certainly this is the case with the men’s game.

This is also a volunteer-driven setup and the HKRU needs to be doing more to create a quality Club, Colts, and School league structure to be conducive to the game growing and being competitive. More Mini’s rugby kids should be coming through the ranks to our senior club game and in turn, our national teams.

Women’s and girls rugby in Asia

What is exciting in Hong Kong and Asia is that the girls game is flourishing. The physical demands of the girls game are currently easier to bridge. Certainly, given the infancy of the girls game globally, this is a super exciting time for rugby in my opinion. The quality of the ladies game is evolving so quickly and the emerging rugby nations have an opportunity to be part of it.

In Hong Kong, our girls and ladies rugby is made up predominantly of local or Hong Kong raised players. The HKRU couldn’t do worse by taking the men’s game back to the current development program/model the girls have adopted. It would certainly be supporting its local sports community better than it currently is.

HK Women quality for RWC 2017
HK Women quality for RWC 2017

Sporting community working together

Facilities is also an issue in Hong Kong. I feel the HKRU could have allocated time and money towards building a secure foundation of playing venues that would also have supported the wider sporting community. This is easier said than done, given the limited land available in HK and I’m sure there are obstacles, but this has to be a core focus.

I believe this could be far more attainable if it is also supporting other sporting needs; football, hockey, cricket, netball etc.

I don’t believe the sports governing bodies work with each other for the greater good of the HK sports community.

They seem to be competing for venues, funding etc. Working together would surely help the Hong Kong sports community better, and in turn, create a more competitive and participative sports community.

Rugby referees and development

Officiating is also a key area that must be managed if rugby is to progress. It’s as important as a good coaching setup in my opinion. Asia has a need/demand for top-class rugby referees. The game is reaching a professional state in some countries and the top 2 tiers of men’s rugby certainly need top officials.

We have some very good referees in Hong Kong but not enough to meet the demand for the weekend’s full fixture list. This affects the quality of game so its key that, not only in HK but in Asia, the standard of refereeing is maintained across all top-level fixtures, and below if possible.

Managing expectations of Asian rugby

Asia has always faced such diversity in physical attributes between its smaller player bases. So creating a consistent competitive competition is very difficult. There needs to be flexibility and mutual end goals in the region to build the game’s flexibility in laws and league structures etc. But it doesn’t mean the game can’t flourish.

The skill, speed, and bravery are there in abundance, so why not let it be what it can be rather than make it something it can’t be.

We just need to manage expectations and stop making the All Blacks the benchmark. It would be great to drive a local born eligible Asian league or a collective team “weight category” for emerging Asian nations This means we would be striving for growth and development over results and making the game attractive and accessible to everyone.

I think Asia is a place that World Rugby could build into an amazing player & fan base.

But I don’t see a rugby side from Asia being competitive in the next 20+ years. Japan is the closest and they still rely heavily on an import system. So I think we need to manage these expectations and limited funds to attain realistic goals in building the game through wider participation.

Andrew Chambers 2005 Dubai 7s
Andrew Chambers 2005 Dubai 7s

Hong Kong 7s


You have played at and been a fan at the Hong Kong 7s. What makes this a special tournament in your opinion?

Hong Kong sevens south standThe multicultural local community makes for a partisan crowd, so it’s amazing. The Hong Kong stadium makes the crowd and players very close to the action. The week is also well supported by a great number of events building up to the weekend itself which results in a great week, not just a weekend.

Sevens rugby is is a great game with constant action. The qualifying competition has also really been a captivating addition and it’s great to see that are so many competitive sides taking part that it’s become so tough to call out a winner.

You can read the RugbyAsia247 Guide to the best rugby at the Hong Kong 7s 2019.

Rugby professionalism in Asia

Do you see the growing professionalism of the sport in Asia as a positive or negative? (With competitions like Global Rapid Rugby coming soon).

Currently, I see it as a negative. I believe too much money in Hong Kong has come to the detriment of rugby development. Why would this be any different to the wider rugby community?

I believe we are trying to force a sport onto a region that doesn’t suit their character or physical attributes required for the sport.

Global Rapid Rugby logo

Money in pockets won’t make this game grow in Asia. However, a solid development plan, access to facilities, necessary equipment, and officials and coaches to give the game direction and structure will.

Watching the Western Force play the Asian Pacific barbarians in Singapore isn’t going to captivate young kids in Taiwan, Cambodia, Thailand, Korea, Hong Kong! But I will happily be proven wrong.

Finally, with the RWC 2019 coming soon, do you think World Rugby and Asia Rugby have done enough to expose the game to people unfamiliar with it in Asia?

This is a high-demand global event. It’s a magic opportunity for Japan to catapult the game to its wider community, as I believe it is still a relatively low-participation sport in Japan.

Regionally it would have been very romantic for World Rugby to assure local clubs around the region an opportunity to experience such a great event happening here in the region, but the Rugby World Cup isn’t going to be a cheap event to travel too.

It would have been fantastic for local clubs from around Asia to secure bulk tickets and also have opportunities to arrange games with local sides. Certainly, from a Mini’s rugby perspective, this may still be an option, but I haven’t heard of anything being arranged.

The Rugby World Cup will sell out, and the tickets will always go to those in the inner circles of rugby.

Andrew Chambers played 38 times for Hong Kong’s first XV, and played in 14 IRB (International Rugby Board, now World Rugby) Sevens tournaments and two World Cup Sevens tournaments. He also captained the Hong Kong team for two years – from 2007-2009.

Andrew Chambers in his Hong Kong playing days
Andrew Chambers in his Hong Kong playing days

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby ihateblazers » Thu, 02 Jan 2020, 08:14

Very interesting interview. It's what i've thought about Hong Kong rugby for a long time. Hong Kong people know about the sport because of the 7's but it is mainly run by expats for expats and there is little community engagement. But to be fair there is little culture of team sports participation or viewing so it is an uphill battle regardless. Same can be applied to most other Asian countries.

Interesting fact the HKRFU revenue is US$30+ million, 95% of which is generated by the 7's. More than any other non T1 nation except for Japan.

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby victorsra » Thu, 02 Jan 2020, 14:28

It connects with the low attendances of the GRR Showcase series matches in Hong Kong. IIRC less than 2.000 people. They said there was a heavy rainstorm before one of the matches, however.
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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby ihateblazers » Fri, 03 Jan 2020, 02:50

victorsra wrote:It connects with the low attendances of the GRR Showcase series matches in Hong Kong. IIRC less than 2.000 people. They said there was a heavy rainstorm before one of the matches, however.


To be fair there is a stadium issue in Hong Kong. The matches they played in GRR were in Aberdeen district which is in a pretty remote part of Hong Kong. There is metro access now but it isn't an area you would want to spend the day out as there is absolutely nothing to do or see in that area except for an amusement park. So the rugby community would not be interested in trekking there just for the rugby and of course non rugby people don't even know it exists. I don't think the local clubs or the HKRFU even tried to get school kids to come and watch or even their members. Even Mong Kok where the Sunwolves played is not an attractive area with mainly tourist markets and shopping areas and a very uncomfortable congested area. They'd be better off playing in the Hong Kong Football Club stadium where the national team plays or Wan Chai Sports Ground as they are downtown, lots of bars and restaurants nearby. The problem with HKFC stadium is that half of the seats are reserved for their own private club members, rugby or not...

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 03 Jan 2020, 03:12

ihateblazers wrote:
victorsra wrote:It connects with the low attendances of the GRR Showcase series matches in Hong Kong. IIRC less than 2.000 people. They said there was a heavy rainstorm before one of the matches, however.


To be fair there is a stadium issue in Hong Kong. The matches they played in GRR were in Aberdeen district which is in a pretty remote part of Hong Kong. There is metro access now but it isn't an area you would want to spend the day out as there is absolutely nothing to do or see in that area except for an amusement park. So the rugby community would not be interested in trekking there just for the rugby and of course non rugby people don't even know it exists. I don't think the local clubs or the HKRFU even tried to get school kids to come and watch or even their members. Even Mong Kok where the Sunwolves played is not an attractive area with mainly tourist markets and shopping areas and a very uncomfortable congested area. They'd be better off playing in the Hong Kong Football Club stadium where the national team plays or Wan Chai Sports Ground as they are downtown, lots of bars and restaurants nearby. The problem with HKFC stadium is that half of the seats are reserved for their own private club members, rugby or not...


The Aberdeen stadium is nice. Where the national team plays looks awful, soulless, like a multisports complex. When I go to watch rugby that's all I do. Go there, watch the rugby, go home. As long as I can get a pie and a pint at the stadium my needs have been met. This does however potentially create an opportunity for the local economy around the stadium.

My other thought is, Asia Pacific Dragons have fallen out with Singapore; could they also be based in Hong Kong? Could having two GRR teams be a boost to rugby in Hong Kong? Base them in different stadiums. Really promote them with the public, especially school kids. Like in Liverpool, every kid is either a Liverpool or an Everton fan; in Hong Kong everyone will be a Tigers fan or a Dragons fan.

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby ihateblazers » Fri, 03 Jan 2020, 07:32

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
ihateblazers wrote:
victorsra wrote:It connects with the low attendances of the GRR Showcase series matches in Hong Kong. IIRC less than 2.000 people. They said there was a heavy rainstorm before one of the matches, however.


To be fair there is a stadium issue in Hong Kong. The matches they played in GRR were in Aberdeen district which is in a pretty remote part of Hong Kong. There is metro access now but it isn't an area you would want to spend the day out as there is absolutely nothing to do or see in that area except for an amusement park. So the rugby community would not be interested in trekking there just for the rugby and of course non rugby people don't even know it exists. I don't think the local clubs or the HKRFU even tried to get school kids to come and watch or even their members. Even Mong Kok where the Sunwolves played is not an attractive area with mainly tourist markets and shopping areas and a very uncomfortable congested area. They'd be better off playing in the Hong Kong Football Club stadium where the national team plays or Wan Chai Sports Ground as they are downtown, lots of bars and restaurants nearby. The problem with HKFC stadium is that half of the seats are reserved for their own private club members, rugby or not...


The Aberdeen stadium is nice. Where the national team plays looks awful, soulless, like a multisports complex. When I go to watch rugby that's all I do. Go there, watch the rugby, go home. As long as I can get a pie and a pint at the stadium my needs have been met. This does however potentially create an opportunity for the local economy around the stadium.

My other thought is, Asia Pacific Dragons have fallen out with Singapore; could they also be based in Hong Kong? Could having two GRR teams be a boost to rugby in Hong Kong? Base them in different stadiums. Really promote them with the public, especially school kids. Like in Liverpool, every kid is either a Liverpool or an Everton fan; in Hong Kong everyone will be a Tigers fan or a Dragons fan.


I think they wanted to play in HKFC stadium but GRR didn't like the fact it has artificial turf.

There isn't that type of sports attendance culture in the rugby community or in the Hong Kong population. The majority of the rugby community in Hong Kong are interested in playing and enjoying the social side. They don't support the national team because they are proud and passionate to support Hong Kong and it's the same thing for the South China Tigers. You'd have to give a good reason to get the rugby community to go and watch. I hope that the GRR and Forrest actually have plans to grow the grassroots of the game and engage with the local community because it is the only way the sport in Hong Kong will grow.

I think basing the Dragons in Hong Kong could be more viable than Singapore, as long as it was still backed by their current ownership and they signed some players from Hong Kong. If they did go through with it they should base the Dragons in Kowloon and keep the Tigers on Hong Kong island, it would build a nice inter city rivalry and it's also how they split rep rugby for youth.

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby Canalina » Tue, 07 Jan 2020, 20:02

Sickle&hammer, I didn't know this symbol was still used somewhere.
This is Hanoi, Viet Nam capitol city, during a meeting between rugby instructors (for kids) coming from Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia.
Sponsor of the project is DHL

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby Canalina » Tue, 14 Jan 2020, 05:39

Two images, unrelated each other...

Sri Lanka: Kandy on the lead this year too
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Kabul: the first snow rugby official tournament (not just friendly games like in the past winters)
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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby Hinato » Wed, 22 Jan 2020, 16:57

Malaisie: Brad Mika reste sélectionneur! https://www.asierugby.com/post/malaisie ... ectionneur

Malaisie: la sélection vers moins de joueurs naturalisés https://www.asierugby.com/post/malaisie ... lis%C3%A9s

Daisuke Ito future star du rugby japonais! https://www.asierugby.com/post/daisuke- ... y-japonais

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby mcruic » Wed, 22 Jan 2020, 22:54

On Asia Rugby's 2020 calendar, there is no mention of a Division 1 tournament this year. Just the Championship, Division 2 in Pakistan in February, and 4 regional Division 3 tournaments (dates to be announced). Also, mention of 3 Divisions of women's XVs this year.
http://theroonba.com Results, fixtures, rankings

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby Canalina » Thu, 23 Jan 2020, 08:03

It would be strange. Who is supposed to play in division 1? Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Arab Emirates, if I'm not wrong.They are all national teams and federations that appeared quite consistent in the international competitions in the last years; it would be a surprise if two or more of them had withdrawn from this year tournament

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby Hinato » Thu, 23 Jan 2020, 19:37

Les effectifs des 3 clubs corpos sud-coréens sont disponibles sur le site. A savoir:

Hyundai Glovis: https://www.asierugby.com/hyundai-glovis

KEPCO: https://www.asierugby.com/kepco

POSCO: https://www.asierugby.com/posco

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Re: Asian 5 Nations & Asian rugby discussion

Postby victorsra » Thu, 23 Jan 2020, 19:42

Canalina wrote:It would be strange. Who is supposed to play in division 1? Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Arab Emirates, if I'm not wrong.They are all national teams and federations that appeared quite consistent in the international competitions in the last years; it would be a surprise if two or more of them had withdrawn from this year tournament

Yes, Philippines, Sri Lanka, UAE and Singapore. I suppose it is only incomplete the page.
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