The IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2014 will be
staged in Asia for the first time when it kicks off at Hong Kong
Football Club next month, and the home side are determined to make
a big impact.
Hong Kong’s under-20 side will line up with the
future stars of world Rugby from eight international unions:
Canada, Georgia, Japan, Namibia, Tonga, United States and Uruguay,
that will take place from 7-19 April, for the seventh playing of
The home side will be looking to the likes of
backrower Chris Maize of DeA, and Hong Kong Football Club flanker
Raef Morrison for inspiration. The talented duo were involved with
Hong Kong’s senior sevens squad that played at the Zimbabwe Sevens
last weekend, and are in consideration for this year’s
Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens team.
Morrison are also elite rugby athletes at the Hong Kong Sports
Institute, while lock Mike Parfitt of Hong Kong Cricket Club was
training with the Hong Kong 15s squad before the international
series against Belgium last December, but had to withdraw through
Others players with great potential are
flanker Mike Coverdale of Hong Kong Football Club and centre Theo
Rolston of Valley.
“Chris and Raef are obviously
influential players for us. Chris is just coming back from injury.
That’s the only real worry we have – that players get injured. But
we are happy with how our preparations have gone for the
tournament,” said team manager, Paul Renouf.
this Hong Kong coach Pale Tauti is under no illusions as to the
size of the task at hand.
“We’ll be going in as
underdogs for every game but we we’ll be looking to be very
competitive, if not get the win. I’ve a lot of confidence in the
personnel that we have,” Tauti said. “The pressure won’t
get to them. Most of them have either been featuring in senior
men’s domestic rugby here in Hong Kong or played at underage
national level. It means they’re getting exposure to adult rugby,
which only helps their development. It’s an amazing event and
it’ll be a unique experience for the team.”
To rally the support of the Hong Kong
community for the team, the under-20 Hong Kong squad will have the
honour of leading the teams’ March Past during the final day of
this year’s Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, which takes
place from 28-30 March at Hong Kong Stadium.
American teams USA and Canada are the top seeds in the tournament
and head Pools A and B, respectively. Fourth seeds Tonga, fifth
seeds Georgia and hosts Hong Kong (eighth seeds) round out Pool A.
Pool B sees third seeds Japan, sixth seeds Uruguay and seventh
seeds Namibia join the Canadians.
tournament will see 16 matches played with the pool stages held on
7, 11 and 15 April. The finals will be held on 19 April.
playing of the tournament was in June, 2013 in Chile. Winners of
this year's tournament will be promoted to the IRB Junior World
Hong Kong Squad (Club): Ryan
AYLSWORTH (HK Scottish), Sebastien BRIEN (Newcastle), James
CHRISTIE (Newcastle), Zac CINNAMOND (HKCC), Patrick COOK (Valley),
Michael COVERDALE (HKFC), Elliot CROFT (Uni. Of Nottingham),
Joseph DIGNAN (HKCC), Fin FIELD (HKCC), Kevin FIELD (DeA), Calvin
HUNTER (DeA), Jason JEYAM (DeA), Oscar KURTEN (DeA), Eric KWOK
(City RFC), Chris MAIZE (DeA), John MARKLEY (Valley), Raef
MORRISON (HKFC), Nicholas NGAN KEE (HK Scottish), Liam OWENS
(VALLEY), Michael PARFITT (HKCC), Rupert PHILLIPS (DeA), Alexander
POST (HKCC), Andrew PURTON (HKFC), Theo ROLSTON (Valley), Hugo
STILES (Valley), Vincent YOUNG (Kowloon).
Hong Kong JWRT Match Schedule
Monday, 7 April, Hong Kong v USA, 7pm;
11 April, Hong Kong v Tonga, 5pm;
15 April, Hong Kong v Georgia, 1pm.
Saturday, 19 April,
JWRT Finals Day (schedule TBC).
All matches will be held at
Hong Kong Football Club, admission is free.
See other recent news regarding:
Hong Kong Sevens