The Hong Kong women’s national rugby team will
face Japan in a home and away series to decide the Asia Rugby
The matches on 8 and 15 July will
provide Hong Kong’s final competitive warm-up ahead of their
historic first appearance at the Rugby World Cup in Ireland in
“These games are a great opportunity as they come
so close to the World Cup squads. We are really lucky to have this
competition to fine-tune our preparations for Ireland,” said Hong
Kong coach, Jo Hull.
Hull has announced her squad for the
away match this weekend (8 July) at the Shroyama Athletic Field in
Odarawa (kick-off at 11.00am Hong Kong time).
Grade programme graduate Kelsie Bouttle is set to earn her first
cap after a standout season for league and Grand Championship
winners Valley. Hull has also welcomed the return of some of the
side’s senior campaigners in centre Adrienne Garvey, who will
captain the team in Japan, and flanker Christine Gordon.
“It is a bit of a different squad,” said Hull. “It is great to have
Rocky [Garvey] and Chrissie [Gordon] back, and we are excited to
be able to blood another new cap in Kelsie, along with the five
first-timers who went to Spain. We are using this
opportunity to look at a few different starters and combinations,
like Lindsay Varty at scrumhalf and ‘BB’ [Lee Tsz-ting] at ten. We
think that could be an exciting combination as both are playing
well at the moment. The selection reflects our preparations for
the World Cup, which is our only focus at the moment. Everything
we’re doing is building towards being ready for the first match
against Canada next month.”
match represents another benchmarking opportunity after the team’s
tour of Spain last month. Fourteen of the 23-member Spain squad
have been tipped for the opener against Japan, including four of
the five players who made their Hong Kong debuts in Valladolid.
Despite having one eye on Hong Kong’s historic first
appearance at a world championship, Hull is demanding results from
her side in the Asian campaign.
“This is international
rugby and we are representing Hong Kong, so results matter. We
started to close the gap over the week against Spain and now we
need to do that against Japan.”
Hong Kong dropped its last
outing against Japan in last December’s world cup qualifier, 20-8,
improving on 39-3 and 30-8 losses in last spring’s Asian
“This is a big test of our progress for the
world cup,” said Hull. “There has been a clear message to
the girls selected about accountability and we’re putting a
premium on efficiency and accuracy. Each game is about getting us
one step closer to how we want to play on the world stage. While the squad has really come into their own over the past six
months, at this stage of the campaign, there are no second
chances. The players have to be accountable, plain and simple.
They know and accept that. While everyone has bought into
the team ethos and understands that we are going to need every
last 28 of the women we bring to Ireland, there are some really
hungry players who are disappointed with this selection.”
Both Hong Kong and Japan advanced from December’s
triangular with Fiji to their first ever World Cups at
fifteen-a-side in August. Since then Japan have also been busy
preparing for the world championship, splitting matches against
Wales and Ireland in June.
“Japan have had some good
results and they should be proud of themselves. They are a good
team and are very disciplined. To put them off their game
we need to start fast and get into the mix early on. That fits
with our objectives for the Rugby World Cup, to play much faster
and be more efficient on the pitch, particularly in the contact
area and set piece. We really saw how important those things are
in Spain and we will be looking to make improvements from our tour
last month,” Hull added.
HKRU Squad for Japan (8
July 2017 - Women’s Asia Rugby Championship)
LAU Nga-wun (Gai Wu), 2. Royce CHAN Leong-sze (HKFC), 3 WONG Yuen-shan
(USRC Tigers/EdUHK), 4. CHAN Ka-yan (Gai Wu), 5. TSANG Sin-Yan 6.
Christine GORDON (Kowloon), 7. CHAN Tsz-ching (Tai Po
Dragons/HKBU), 8. Amelie SEURE (Valley, vice-captain), 9. Lindsay
VARTY (USRC Tigers), 10. LEE Tsz-ting (Gai Wu/HKBU), 11. LAU
Sze-wa (Valley), 12. Rebecca THOMPSON (Valley), 13. Adrienne
GARVEY (Valley, captain), 14. Laurel CHOR Lik-fung (Valley), 15.
Aggie POON Pak-yan (Gai Wu), RESERVES: 16. HO Hoi-lam (Gai Wu),
17. CHEUNG Shuk-han (Valley), 18. PUN Wai-yan (Gai Wu/EdUHK), 19.
Winnie SIU Wing-ni (USRC Tigers), 20. TSANG Sin-yan (Kowloon), 21.
HO Jessica Wai-on (USRC Tigers), 22. Rose HOPEWELL-FONG Siu-lan
(HKFC) (pictured above), 23. Kelsie BOUTTLE (Valley/ICHK).
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.
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