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Hong Kong national rugby union team

Template:Infobox rugby team

The Hong Kong national rugby union team is a third tier rugby union side. Hong Kong first played in 1969 and have consistently been one of the higher ranked Asian sides. Most of the team's members are White British players with ancestral connections to Hong Kong, though there are a number of Chinese players as well. They have yet to qualify for the Rugby World Cup. Rugby union in Hong Kong is administered by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union.

Hong Kong took part in the last Asian qualifying round for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in which they played in the Asian 5 Nations. They finished second in the tournament and played Uruguay in the repechage semi-final, but lost 28-3.

History

Rugby has been played in Hong Kong as long as horses have been racing in Happy Valley. Early newspapers at the Hong Kong Central Public Records Office have accounts of rugby games being played during the late 1870s and 80s. Before World War I, Jock McGregor was the secretary of the Hong Kong Rugby Club and the game was played mainly by army and navy men, together with the police and merchants from Hong Kong's ports.

From 1920 until 1949, Hong Kong teams regularly took part in "Interport" competitions with teams from Shanghai.

After World War II, manpower in Hong Kong increased and local competition flourished. In 1951, the Hong Kong team played in Japan, captained by Gerry Forsgate, former President of the Union. This was the start of Hong Kong participating in many tournaments and games, both home and away throughout Asia. In 1952, the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) was formed.

During this period, the strength of club rugby was with the Football Club side, Police and occasionally Service teams. In 1967, Hong Kong became a founding member of the Asian Rugby Football Union and has since played a key role in developing rugby in Asia.

The Valley Rugby Football Club was formed in 1975 and the first Hong Kong Sevens Tournament took place in 1976. Both remain in very good shape, with Hong Kong hosting the 1997 and 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens and the "Sevens" going on to become the premier tournament of the IRB World Sevens Series. The Hong Kong Sevens is considered the signature achievement of Hong Kong Rugby.

The HKRFU continue to be committed to developing rugby in Hong Kong and Asia, with the game catching on among the ethnic Chinese community. The league has also gradually expanded - these teams include Kowloon RFC, Hong Kong Cricket Club, DeA Tigers RFC, Gai Wu, Causeway Bay, Tai Po Dragons, Hong Kong Scottish, Typhoons, City and University.

Recently, touch & tag rugby has gained a considerable following in Hong Kong, which in turn has increased the awareness of the 15-a-side game.

Today, there are a total of 48 men's teams playing in six divisions and 10 women's teams in two divisions.

Under the eye of the HKRFU, competitive and recreational rugby is offered on many levels, such as youth. In 2013, over 7,000 players were active in the game on a regular basis.

The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union remains committed to recruiting and developing new players and continuing the tradition of rugby in Hong Kong.

Players

Current squad

Hong Kong's squad for the 2015 Asian Rugby Championship.

Head Coach: 23x15px Andrew Hall

Current coaches

On 7 November 2014, the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union announced the new coaching team for the 2014/15 international season.[1]

Name Role
23x15px Dai Rees HKRFU head of performance
23x15px Andrew Hall Head Coach
23x15px Gareth Baber Backs and Defense coach
23x15px Craig Hammond Forwards and Set-piece coach
23x15px Peter Drewett Development manager

See also

References

Awards
Preceded by
Hong Kong national women's table tennis team
Hong Kong Sports Stars Award
Team Only Sport

2004
Succeeded by
Sun Hei