The Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU) has confirmed
the final 13-man sevens squad to compete in this weekend's Singapore
Sevens (15-16 April).
As Asian Sevens champions, Hong Kong were
invited by World Rugby to participate as the 16th team in
Singapore, and were drawn alongside Fiji, Canada and Russia, a
very tough pool to say the least!
The squad will face a physical challenge of
playing in back-to-back World Series events after last weekend’s
Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, where Hong Kong’s run ended
in the cup quarter finals.
The squad selected for Singapore includes most
of the team that appeared in Hong Kong with the exception of Ben
Rimene, who was injured in the final pool match against Chile in
the stadium last weekend.
The squad also sees a change in the nominated
injury reserve spot with Mark Wright given more time to fully
rehab a shoulder injury as Charles Higson-Smith comes into the
team. If Higson-Smith makes it on to the pitch in Singapore he
will mark his HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series debut.
Coach Paul John has a 5-7 forwards-backs split
with Jack Capon coming into the side to bolster captain Max
Woodward, Mike Coverdale, Chris Maize and Toby Fenn up front.
Rowan Varty will add to
his Hong Kong record sevens caps totals in an outside back trio of Salom Yiu Kam-shing and Ryan Meacheam.
Jason Jeyam – who made his HSBC World Rugby
Sevens Series debut in Hong Kong, will make a second appearance at
scrumhalf longside Cado Lee, Ka-to, with veterans Lee Jones
and Jamie Hood likely to see plenty of action in Singapore in
The squad won’t be the only representatives
appearing in Singapore as Hong Kong Sports Institute Coach Mark
Komar and Hong Kong flyhalf and Football Club coach Niall Rowark
have both been seconded by the HKRU to assist Asia Rugby union Lao
this weekend in Singapore.
After the Lao national coach was injured in a
car accident, the HKRU has dispatched the two coaches to head up
the national woman’s sevens squad in Komar’s case and the men’s
national seven for Rowark for this weekend’s Southeast Asian
Both teams have a stiff test ahead with the men
pooled with Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore B while the women are
grouped with top Asian side Thailand and Malaysia.
Komar, (who has coached the Hong Kong women’s
U20s teams in the past and is the assistant coach of the Hong
Kong’s women’s seven under Anna Richards), will be making his
international senior coaching debut with Lao.
“I’m really excited as it’s going to be a great
experience. Normally, I can rely on Anna to help or provide some
insight but now I will have to rely upon my own capabilities. I have watched some of the Lao women’s matches
ahead of this weekend and while it’s pretty late in the day to
make major changes, I will be focusing on providing a good
framework for the squad in terms of having a focused build-up to
the competition and providing advice and guidance during the
Rowark, normally more accustomed to playing at
international level as one of Hong Kong’s first choice fly-halves,
will be marking his first senior coaching experience of any stripe
after coaching in the Hong Kong Football Club’s youth structures.
“It was a bit of a surprise as Marky and I just
found out over last weekend’s Hong Kong Sevens. I have not even
had a chance to see any of the men’s squad matches, but I know
that the Lao players are very committed and don’t shy away from
contact so I am sure we will get along well. Like Mark, my goal will be to provide a base of
support to the team heading into this important competition and to
try to minimize any disruption arising from losing their coach
late in the campaign. I’m really looking forward to getting my first
taste of coaching at international level and I am sure that I will
learn as much as the boys will this week,” Rowark added.
The finals of both tournaments will be played in
the Singapore National Stadium during the HSBC World Rugby Sevens
Series’ Singapore Sevens.
Hong Kong Men’s Sevens
Squad for Singapore
Max WOODWARD (Captain), Michael COVERDALE, Toby
FENN, Mark WRIGHT, Jamie HOOD, Jason JEYAM, Lee JONES, Cado LEE Ka-to,
Chris MAIZE, Ryan MEACHEAM, Rowan VARTY, Salom YIU Kam-shing,
Charles HIGSON-SMITH (nominated injury reserve).
Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens,
Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015,
Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong
Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015,
Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013,
of Chartis Cup 2012 and
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.
See other recent