Our coverage of the Chartis Cup 2012 was sponsored by the
Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel. Just 28 minutes from downtown Hong Kong
and conveniently located near the airport, AsiaWorld-Expo and Hong
Kong Disneyland, the 5-star luxury Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott
Hotel is the ideal and affordable choice for MICE, business and
Blues coach Pat Lam and Wallabies legend George
Smith will take charge of the BGC APBs for their historic Chartis
Cup clash against English giants Saracens in Hong Kong next week.
Samoa icon Lam will be head coach with Smith – veteran of 110
tests for Australia and the most-capped forward in rugby history –
acting as his assistant.
The star-studded BGC APBs will face
Saracens at Hong Kong Stadium on Saturday, 9 June 2012. The kick
off is at 18:00.
“I’m really looking forward to being involved
with a BGC APBs squad that contains so many world-class players,”
said Lam. “As a coach, you want to work with the best
talent available and the line-up that has been assembled for the Chartis Cup certainly fits that description. We are relishing the
challenge posed by the famous Saracens and it promises to be a
fantastic game of rugby.”
Lam’s outstanding playing career
as a rugged No.8 included captaining Samoa, appearing in three
World Cups and playing in both Super Rugby and the English
Premiership. He coached Auckland in New Zealand’s National
Provincial Championship before moving into Super Rugby and taking
charge of the Auckland-based Blues in 2009.
meanwhile, enjoyed a stellar 10-year career as a flanker with the
Brumbies and Wallabies, including being the only player to twice
win the John Eales Medal, given to Australian rugby’s player of
the year. Since retiring from internationals in 2010 he has played
club rugby in France and Japan.
“I love the APBs concept
and when the chance came to be involved, I jumped at it,” said
Smith. “Many of the BGC APBs squad are old friends and respected
opponents and I’m relishing the opportunity to meet up with them
for a great rugby occasion.”
The BGC APBs squad includes
New Zealand greats Mils Muliaina, Jerry Collins, Sitiveni Sivivatu
and Rico Gear; Welsh legends Shane Williams and Martyn Williams;
and the Tuilagi brothers, Alesana and Henry, from Samoa.
For Saracens, former England skipper Steve Borthwick will lead a
powerful team that includes 2007 World Cup-winning Springbok
captain John Smit and England internationals Richard Wigglesworth
and Hugh Vyvyan.
“It is fantastic for the Hong Kong rugby
community to have the chance to see so many great players in one
match,” said Trevor Gregory, chairman of the Hong Kong Rugby
Football Union, which has given the Chartis Cup its official
backing. “It is another example of how Hong Kong is now firmly
established on the global rugby map and the HKRFU is delighted to
support this landmark event.”
The Chartis Cup will be the
centrepiece of a day-long rugby festival at Hong Kong Stadium and
nearby So Kon Po Sports Ground that will feature minis and
veterans tournaments plus a family-friendly Rugby Village at the
Indian Recreation Club that will boast F&B, a children’s play area
and big TV screens so fans can watch the day’s international
matches later in the evening.
Admission to the Rugby
Village is free. And, as a bonus, the BGC APBs and Saracens
players will drop by after the Chartis Cup to mingle with
spectators and sign autographs.
“We are now in the final stages of
preparations and we are looking forward to the teams arriving,
starting early next week,” said Chartis Cup promoter Jon Phelps.
The Chartis Cup is a charity match, with proceeds going to the
Royal Project office in Thailand to help rebuild schools in areas affected by flooding.
Tickets for the Chartis Cup cost HK$300 for adults and
HK$50 for children.