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Lawrence Dallaglio Takes Time Out for Youth at GFI HKFC Tens Clinic

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Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio, in Hong Kong to attend the GFI HKFC Tens 2011, took time out on Tuesday to promote youth rugby with a special clinic for young rugby players from the Hong Kong Football Club.

The session was held in conjunction with the HSBC Penguins and HSBC Rugby Ambassador John Kirwan. Over 60 aspiring young rugby stars attended the clinic.

Speaking about Tuesday’s clinic, Lawrence Dallaglio said, “It was a fantastic day. I started playing rugby at U8 level and these are the kind of activities that keep kids involved in the game. We stressed skills, but also the core values of rugby, leadership, teamwork and supporting each other. The values that make the game so special. We also had fun and that is what rugby, at the end of the day, is all about.”

In keeping with his charity involvement, Lawrence Dallaglio will participate in a special Deaf Rugby match which will be held on the finals day of the GFI HKFC Tens, Thursday, 24 March 2011, at the Hong Kong Football Club.

The match will be held at 18.25, immediately before the tournament finals begin. As part of his commitments to the tournament and youth rugby, Dallaglio will serve as the coach of each team for one half of the match.

The two participating schools Lutheran School of the Deaf and Chun Tok Secondary School recently participated in the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union’s first ever sevens tournament for deaf rugby players on 16 March 2011.

Looking ahead to today’s kick off of the GFI HKFC Tens, Dallaglio said, “I’m really excited to see the Tens. The tournament has a great history and now that the Six Nations are finished the eyes of the rugby world are firmly placed on Hong Kong ... The standard of the Tens is really growing and we have a lot of past, and I think future, greats that are going to be playing over the next two days.”

Dallaglio then added a tantalizing tidbit for Tens fans, “I am even thinking about bringing out a team next year. I think we need some more Home Union representation and I will be keenly watching the standard. We will want to be competitive.”

On his expectations for the Tens Dallaglio said, “I expect to see some great rugby and a full house of fans enjoying Hong Kong’s unique rugby atmosphere during this special week. It will be great to catch up with old friends and I think make a lot of new friends as well.”

Tens action begins at 11.00 today at the Hong Kong Football Club (public, non-member entrance is through the Hong Kong Jockey Club Museum Entrance to Happy Valley) and entry is free for all on Wednesday as part of the celebrations of the Hong Kong Football Club’s 125th anniversary. Entry costs just HK$100 on Thursday.

Lawrence Dallaglio

Lawrence Dallaglio was capped 85 times for England and at all three positions in the back row. He was a key member of the England team that won the 2003 Rugby World Cup In Australia and the only member of the England team to play every minute of the Rugby World Cup campaign that year.

After initially retiring due to the physical demands of the game in 2004, Lawrence returned to top-flight rugby for the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand and was included in England’s 2007 Rugby World Cup Squad. He officially retired again in 2008 winning the 2008 Premiership Final in the same year with London Wasps, the only club he has ever played for. Lawrence has received several honours for his contribution to England sport including an MBE and OBE.

Dallaglio is no stranger to the abbreviated rugby codes having been an instrumental member of the England Sevens team that shocked the world by winning the inaugural Rugby World Cup Sevens in 1993 and playing in the Hong Kong Sevens in 1995 as part of a President’s Seven side in the days of invitational club rugby at the Hong Kong Sevens. On that occasion, Dallaglio and his teammates were edged out by Western Samoa in the Quarter Finals.

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