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BGC APBs Will Blend Quickly, Says Coach Pat Lam; Thai Charity to Benefit from Chartis Cup

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BGC APBs coach Pat Lam believes his invitational team will have no problems gelling in time for Saturdays 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 wont be a problem, the boys are all getting on well together, said Lam after the squads 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 deeper.

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.

Ive played against a few of these boys before, but not with many of them, so its 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 its a massive challenge for the guys but hopefully well rise to it. The heat is going to be a big factor as well but well 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 18:00 this Saturday (9 June) at Hong Kong Stadium.

For Saracens, 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.

See also: 74 High Resolution Pictures from the action at the Chartis Cup 2012.

Chartis Cup 2012 - Interview with Chartis Asia Pacific Chairman, Mr Les Mouat

See more: Videos

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