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,
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BGC APBs coach Pat Lam believes his invitational
team will have no problems gelling in time for Saturday’s Chartis
Cup clash against English giants Saracens in Hong Kong.
The star-studded squad that has been
compiled for the charity match includes international players from
eight different countries.
But Lam, taking a short break from coaching the
Blues in Super Rugby, is confident the BGC APBs will be a force to
be reckoned with come Saturday.
“Gelling won’t be a
problem, the boys are all getting on well together,” said Lam after
the squad’s first training session at So Kon Po Recreation Ground
on Wednesday. “We will ensure we get the balance right
and we will keep the structure pretty simple, so it is more about
the players getting to know each other. The real key is we
want to play well to uphold the APBs name. And then there is the
charity aspect, with funds raised going towards the rebuilding of
schools affected by the flooding in Thailand, which gives the
match something extra. The charity angle brings it into
perspective because when you play rugby at professional level it
is all about winning and results, whereas this is something
Star fullback Mils Muliaina – 100 caps for New
Zealand and a World Cup winner last year – agreed the BGC APBs
would have no trouble blending quickly.
against a few of these boys before, but not with many of them, so
it’s a question of getting to know each other and then working out
a few things on the field, like who is going to be outside you,
who will be inside, that kind of thing,” said Muliaina. “We
know Hong Kong has a big rugby following so, from our point of
view, we want to put in a good performance. Saracens are a tough
team to play and it’s a massive challenge for the guys but
hopefully we’ll rise to it. The heat is going to be a big
factor as well but we’ll just take on board plenty of water and
deal with it.”
Muliaina is one of three Chartis Cup players
who were in the BGC APBs squad that triumphed at the HKFC Tens in
March, the others being Samoa centre Seilala Mapusua and former
Japan captain and No.8 Takuro Miuchi.
Other big names in
the BGC APBs squad include Welsh heroes Shane Williams and Martyn
Williams, All Blacks quartet Jerry Collins, Sitiveni Sivivatu,
Rico Gear and Troy Flavell, and England No.8 Nick Easter.
The BGC APBs will take on Saracens in the Chartis Cup at
this Saturday (9 June) at Hong Kong Stadium.
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.
The Chartis Cup will be the centrepiece of a day-long rugby
festival at Hong Kong Stadium and nearby So Kon Po Recreation Ground that will feature minis and veterans tournaments plus a
family-friendly Rugby Village for which admission is free.
Tickets for the Chartis Cup cost HK$300 for
adults and HK$50 for children.