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 leisure travelers.
Saracens star, John Smit, says the quality of
opposition in Saturday’s Chartis Cup clash in Hong Kong will mean
a “pretty intense” game of rugby.
The English Premiership giants
will take on a BGC APBs invitational team packed with World Cup
aces, Super Rugby veterans and proven winners.
“The opposition is tougher than we would
normally have expected for an off-season game, but that’s good,
because if people come to an event like this they want to see two
top teams playing each other,” said Smit. “The side that
the BGC APBs have put together is very good, so it’s two big teams
going head to head and we’ll see a good game. Certainly, it will
be a serious encounter. Everyone realises it is going to
be pretty intense, you can see that from the level of players on
both sides. For the younger guys in our team, when they go out
there and see the likes of Mils Muliaina lining up against them,
they’ll realise this is no festival, it’s a proper game of rugby.”
Saracens will take on the BGC APBs in the Chartis Cup at
18:00 this Saturday (9 June) at Hong Kong Stadium.
from Muliaina – 100 caps for New Zealand and a World Cup winner
last year – the BGC APBs have four other All Blacks in Jerry
Collins, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Rico Gear and Troy Flavell.
Their other big names include Welsh heroes Shane Williams and
Martyn Williams, England No.8 Nick Easter, Samoa centre Seilala
Mapusua and former Japan captain Takuro Miuchi.
Smit – the
2007 World Cup-winning Springboks captain – will be part of a
powerful Saracens team that includes three England internationals
in club captain Steve Borthwick, Richard Wigglesworth and Hugh
Saracens – who are making their first competitive
appearance in Asia – will be hoping for better luck in Saturday’s
charity game than on their first night in Hong Kong when they
attended the famous Happy Valley races.
“Five or six of us
clubbed together HK$100 each and put it all on the hot tip in the
third race,” revealed Smit. “And guess what? Nothing! So the
message is, horse racing still doesn’t pay!”
retired from international rugby following last year’s World Cup
as the most-capped player in South Africa’s history with 111
appearances, including 64 as captain.
He then relocated to
England to play for Saracens and has relished the experience.
“It’s been good fun, the last eight or nine months have been
really enjoyable,” he said. “What helps is that they’re a good
bunch of lads and the team has done well. My wife and I have two
young kids and they’ve settled in well so, hopefully, we’ll be
staying for a while longer.”
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.