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Seed 1: UBB Gavekal

Home: Hong Kong / France  Players: International  Founded: 2015

HKFC 10s: 4 (2015-2018) 

Highlights: Cup winners 2017; Bowl winners 2015; Bowl runners-up 2016

Head Coach: Matt Clarkin (NZL)

Coaching Staff: Andrew Kelly (UK), Renaud Dulin (FRA), Sireli Bobo (FIJ)

Team Manager: Jean-Baptiste Aldige (FRA/HKG)

Website: www.ubbrugby.com  Facebook: ubbrugby, sportinsideasia

Twitter: UBBrugby, sportinsideasia  Instagram: ubbrugby

Representing Top 14 club Union Bordeaux-Begles, UBB Gavekal are the top seeds after a stunning breakthrough in 2017 when the 11th-ranked side were boosted by the late inclusion of four Fiji Sevens backs: Samu Bale (four tries), Lemeki Tulele (four tries), Josua Vici (two tries) and Glen Cakautini.

This year, Bale – who made his World Rugby Sevens Series debut last year – is among five contracted Fiji Sevens players in the squad along with fellow backs Sakeo Raloa and Leveni Kurimalawai, and forwards Keponi Paul and Vasikali Mudu, who made his Sevens Series debut in Las Vegas in February.

Kiwi flyhalf Nick Smith will captain the side after playing a crucial role in 2017 when he kicked 11 conversions, one penalty and the last-minute drop-kick to beat Penguins 10-7 in the final.

Bale and Smith are among six of last year’s winners included in a provisional 20-man squad that will be trimmed to 18 for Wednesday’s pool stage. The other four 2017 winners are from domestic champions Valley – South African forwards Grant Kemp and Martin Muller, and scrumhalf Ruan Du Plooy and back-rower Karetai Williams of New Zealand.

Kemp (Southern Kings) and Muller (Lions, Cheetahs, Stormers) are among several UBB Gavekal players with Super Rugby experience along with Kiwi centre Jordan Payne (Chiefs) and hooker Sekonaia Pole, who made his Highlanders debut last year. Hugh Chalmers is also among the newcomers after a decade with UBB.

Clarkin, the former UBB captain, will again be the side’s head coach as the team make their fourth appearance with the support of Hong Kong-based Louis-Vincent Gave, founder of financial services company Gavekal and a shareholder in UBB.

The side are managed for a third year by Jean-Baptiste ‘JB’ Aldige, Managing Director of Sport Inside Asia, a Hong Kong-based sports marketing agency that represents UBB.

 

Jersey Players Position (15s) Height  Weight Age
  Grant Kemp  (RSA) Prop 1.87 m 125 kg 27
  Sekonaia Pole (NZL) Hooker 1.80 m 112 kg 23
  Martin Muller (RSA) Lock 1.96 m 107 kg 27
  Robert Lennox Lock 1.90 m 95 kg  
  Joketani Koroi (NZL) Lock 1.96 m 110 kg 24
  Tepasu Thomas (NZL) Lock 1.94 m 108 kg 25
  Vasikali Mudu (FIJ) Flanker 1.80 m 100 kg 23
  Josh Dowsing (NZL) Flanker 1.90 m 105 kg 22
  Karetai Williams (NZL) Back Row 1.85 m 95 kg 29
  Keponi Paul (FIJ) Back Row 1.80 m 90 kg  28
  Hugh Chalmers (NZL/FRA) Back Row 1.92 m 107 kg 33
  Ruan Du Plooy (NZL) Scrumhalf 1.80 m 88 kg 25
  Nick Smith (NZL) Flyhalf 1.80 m 85 kg 24
  Jason Robertson (NZL) Flyhalf 1.75 m 80 kg 23
  Hugo Stiles (HKG) Flyhalf 1.75 m 75 kg  
  Renata Tenana (NZL) Flyhalf 1.88 m 84 kg 24
  Jordan Payne (NZL) Centre 1.87 m 98 kg 25
  Leveni Kurimalawai (FIJ) Center 1.80 m 95 kg 29
  Sakeo Raloa (FIJ) Wing 1.77 m 90 kg 24
  Samu Bale (FIJ) Wing 1.71 m 80 kg 25

 

Seed 2: Penguins

Home: UK  Players: International  Founded: 1959

HKFC 10s: 12 (2007-2018)

Highlights: Cup winners 2013, 2016; Cup runners-up 2007, 2008, 2017

Coaches: Willie Walker (NZL), Scott Waldrom (NZL)

Manager: Graeme Inglis (UK)  Asst Manager: TJ (MAL)

CEO: Craig Brown (NZL)  Trainer: Rod McIntosh (HKG)

Physio: Marc Daniel (MAL)  Masseur: Sue Olovsson (SWE)

Liaison Manager: Dean Herewini (HKG)

Website: www.penguinrugby.com  Facebook: penguinrugby 

Twitter: penguinrugby  Instagram: penguinrugby

Proudly flying a new title sponsor on their shirt, Turkish Airlines Penguins are again among the favourites as they embark on their 12th successive GFI HKFC 10s campaign.

The touring side have reached the Cup final in five of their 11 appearances, including for the past two years, and lifted the Bill Burgess Cup in both 2013 and 2016 after narrow victories over Samurai.

Willie Walker, a former Penguins regular on the pitch, is a co-coach for a third straight year in Hong Kong as the former Maori All Blacks flyhalf is reunited with former All Black flanker Scott Waldrom. With Walker in charge of the backs and Waldrom the forwards, the pair led Penguins to victory in 2016 after a bruising final that required a second period of extra-time.

Players to return from the victorious 2016 squad include forwards Ben Nee Nee, Brad Tucker and Matt Matich, while New Zealand Sevens star Lewis Ormond is back from last year’s squad. Penguins have traditionally fielded Kiwi-dominated sides in Hong Kong and that trend continues this year, with 13 of the 16 players in the provisional squad from New Zealand.

Scrumhalf Tamati Samuels played for All Blacks Sevens on the World Rugby Sevens Series last year, while flyhalf Trent Renata has played Super Rugby for Highlanders and Chiefs.

Not everyone is flying over as the squad also includes players from Hong Kong champions Valley including burly prop Tau Koloamatangi, who played for New Zealand at the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2014 and 2015.

Penguins are one of the world’s premier touring and coaching clubs, having played in or against teams from over 70 countries, stating: “We are not only the most travelled rugby club in the world but the most travelled sports club in the world.”

Penguins wish to thank the management and coaches who have pulled the tour together; Andrew and the team at Tsunami for supplying the best playing kit going; Ting, Zailene and Marc from Synapse Physiotherapy for keeping the players in peak condition; the team at Latham & Watkins, our local partner; John Grove and Grove Industries for their continued support of our global activities; and last but not least, Turkish Airlines who will Widen Your World.

 

Jersey Player Name Position Height  Weight Age
  Tau Koloamatangi (NZL) Prop 1.72 m 115 kg 23
  Kurt Eklund (NZL) Hooker 1.80 m 105 kg 26
  Luatangi Li (NZL) Prop  1.80 m  110 kg 26
  Brad Tucker (NZL) Lock/Back Row 1.95 m 112 kg 25
  Mitch Jacobson (NZL) Lock/Back Row 1.88 m 105 kg 22
  Ben Nee Nee (NZL) Lock/Back Row 2.00 m 115 kg 24
  Mathew Matich (NZL) Back Row 1.86 m 106 kg  26
  Carl Marks (RSA) Back Row  1.86 m 95 kg 25
  Tamati Samuels (NZL) Scrumhalf 1.76 m 85 kg 25
  Josh Walden (NZL) Scrumhalf 1.78 m 83 kg 27
  Trent Renata (NZL) Flyhalf 1.80 m 88 kg  29
  James Little (NZL) Centre 1.83 m 92 kg 25
  Leroy Van Dam (NZL) Centre 1.90 m 90 kg 24
  Sailosi Vatubua (FIJ) Centre/Wing 1.87 m 107 kg 28
  Facundo Garrido (ARG) Wing/Centre 1.94 m 102 kg 27
  Lewis Ormond (NZL) Wing 1.92 m 100 kg 24

 

Seed 3: Tradition YCAC

Home: Japan  Players: New Zealand  Founded: 1866 

HKFC 10s: 6 (2013-2018) 

Highlights: Cup runners-up 2014, 2015; Cup semis 2013, 2016, 2017

Team Manager: Simon Ryan

Website: www.ycacrugby.com  Facebook: 'YCAC Rugby'

Tradition YCAC (Yokohama Country and Athletic Club) have been entrenched as one of the GFI HKFC 10s’ top performers for the past five years. They lost to Asia Pacific Dragons in back-to-back Cup finals in 2014 and 2015, and reached the semi-finals in 2013 and the past two years when they’ve run up against the Penguins.

Last year, they took the lead against Penguins but lost 7-5 after a thrilling encounter, and will again bid to lift the Bill Burgess Cup, which has so far proved elusive for a squad usually made up almost exclusively of New Zealanders.

There was only one non-Kiwi in the provisional squad, Fijian Vuga Tagicakibau, a lively scrumhalf who played for the APDs last year. Otherwise, the group has a familiar feel with at least half having previously represented YCAC at the 10s.

Veteran Ed Cocker, a former New Zealand Sevens stalwart and captain under Gordon Tietjens, is playing for the fourth straight year, having also been part of the Tradition Valley side that won the Cup in 2011. Brothers Hayden and Dan Schrijvers also return from last year, while Warwick Lahmert – who has played sevens for both New Zealand and England – represented YCAC in 2014.

Mark Jackman, who played for New Zealand Sevens in 2012-13, and Jesse Pitman both return from last year when each scored three tries, while Pitman’s fellow Tasman winger Fletcher Matthews is also back from 2017.

Sherwin Stowers, New Zealand’s fourth-highest try scorer on the World Rugby Sevens Series with 126, played two years ago and the 31-year-old will provide pace and experience in the back line.

Brothers Kylem and Declan O'Donnell are strong additions as both boast New Zealand Sevens and Super Rugby experience. Kylem, who plays scrumhalf, co-captained the victorious Penguins side in 2016, having played for Samurai in 2011, while Declan, a renowned speedster, is making his 10s debut having previously watched the tournament while in Hong Kong with All Blacks Sevens.

Japan-based Simon Ryan is looking after YCAC for a sixth year, having led player recruitment for Tradition Valley in 2011.

 

Jersey Player (Country) Position* Height  Weight Age
1 Vuga Tagicakibau (FIJ) Back 1.75 m 80 kg 29
2 Curtis Reid (NZL) Forward 1.86 m 101 kg 23
6 Pio Tuwai        
8 Edwin Cocker (NZL) Forward 1.88 m 101 kg 37
7 Willie Fotofili        
9 Jeff Ierome (NZL) Back 1.83 m 108 kg 34
10 Fletcher Matthews (NZL) Back 1.80 m 92 kg 24
11 Kylem O'Donnell (NZL) Back 1.79 m 91 kg 28
12 Warwick Lahmert (NZL) Forward 1.78 m 85 kg 31
13 Sherwin Stowers (NZL) Back 1.76 m 90 kg 31
14 Declan O'Donnell (NZL) Back 1.88 m 99 kg 27
15 Sonny Taumafa        
17 Angus Gibbens (NZL) Forward 1.82 m 120 kg 31
18 Tovo Faleafa        
19 Willis Scott (NZL) Forward 1.81 m 105 kg 25
20 Jesse Pitman (NZL) Back 1.83 m 90 kg 26
21 Te Puoho Stephens (NZL) Forward 1.90 m 100 kg 22
88 Taylor Haugh        

 

Seed 4: Samurai International

Home: UK  Players: International  Founded: 1996

HKFC 10s: 12 (2005-07, 2010-18) 

Highlights: Cup runners-up 2010, 2013, 2016; Bowl winners 2017

Head Coach: Nasoni Rokobiau (FIJ)  Asst. Coach: Jon Curry (UK)

Manager: Mark Dean (UK)  Director of Rugby: Sailosi Naiteqe (FIJ)

Physio: Kai Adams  Founder: Terry Sands (UK)

Website: samurai-rugby.com  Facebook: samurai7s

Twitter: samurai7s  Instagram: samurai7s

Samurai International are fielding an all-Fijian squad at this year’s GFI HKFC 10s to mark the 10th anniversary of the Samurai Fiji Barracudas, created in 2008 by Terry Sands, who founded Samurai in 1996, and Sailosi Naiteqe, a former Fiji Sevens selector.

Fiji Sevens legend Nasoni Rokobiau – who still ranks among the World Rugby Sevens Series’ top 20 all-time try scorers – will coach Samurai and focus on the backs, while Jon Curry returns from 2016 to help look after the forwards.

In 2013, ‘Roko’ and other former internationals helped a Fijian-dominated Samurai squad reach the Cup final and came close to beating long-time rivals Penguins, only to lose out to a late breakaway try.

Like Penguins, Samurai are competing at the GFI HKFC 10s for a 12th time – although not consecutively – and will again be bidding to win the Bill Burgess Cup and make up for the disappointment of losing in the final in 2010, 2013 and 2016.

The team will be led by prop Eroni Mawi, captain of Fijian Drua in Australia’s National Rugby Championship, and is mainly made up of players who have represented Fiji Sevens and/or the ‘Flying Fijians’ 15s team.

Forward Masivesi Dakuwaqa was part of the team that won the 2016 Olympics,  scrumhalf Emosi Vucago was a Fiji Sevens captain and mainstay, scoring 98 tries in 181 matches, while Sainivalati Ramuwai won the 10s with the APDs in 2015.

Despite never winning in Hong Kong, Samurai have enjoyed success around the world and in recent years have won the Independence 7s (Lagos, Nigeria), Super Sevens Series (UK), Dublin 7s (Ireland), Greene King Premier 7s (UK), Safari 7s (Nairobi, Kenya), New York 7s (USA), Amsterdam 7s (Netherlands) and the International Invitation division at the Dubai 7s (UAE).

Sands, a former Team Manager for England Saxons then England Sevens, remains in charge behind the scenes, while Mark Dean continues in his managerial role.

The fourth seeds are in a tough Pool D where they will face France’s Kir Club Pyrenees, last year’s Plate winners, Taikoo Place Scottish Exiles, who reached the Cup semi-finals in 2015, and English debutants Sedbergh School Old Boys.

 


Jersey Player Name Position Height  Weight Age (Born)
  Eroni Mawi (FIJ) (c) Prop 1.85 m 113 kg 21 (02/06/1996)
  Joeli Veitayaki Jr (FIJ) Prop 1.81 m 116 kg 32 (14/03/1986)
  Masivesi Dakuwaqa (FIJ) Prop 1.90 m 105 kg 24 (14/02/1994)
  Necani Nawaqadau (FIJ) Lock 1.89 m 99 kg 27 (05/10/1990)
  Sitiveni Waqa (FIJ) Forward / Wing 1.90 m 97 kg 29 (19/11/1998)
  Rusiate Matai (FIJ) Forward 1.86 m  89 kg 28 (15/08/1989)
  Sainivalati Ramuwai (FIJ) Forward 1.80 m 100 kg  30 (21/03/1988)
  Inoke Tuisese (FIJ) No. 8 1.86 m 106 kg  30 (01/07/1987)
  Emosi Vucago (FIJ) Scrumhalf 1.70 m 77 kg 34 (10/05/1983)
  Luke Lutunavanua (FIJ) Scrumhalf 1.73 m 76 kg 24 (02/06/1993)
  Livai Ikanikoda (FIJ) Back 1.71 m 79 kg  28 (30/10/1989)
  Malakai Volau (FIJ) Back / Flanker 1.85 m 103 kg 35 (17/03/1983)
  Daniele Tabuakuru (FIJ) Wing 1.70 m 85 kg 36 (07/02/1981)
  Meli Kurisaru (FIJ) Fullback 1.82 m 79 kg  27 (21/02/1991)
  Vatiliai Tuisabeto Tora (FIJ)        

 

Seed 5: Kir Club Pyrenees

Home: France  Players: France  Founded: 2004 

HKFC 10s: 11 (2008-2018)

Highlights:  Cup semis 2009; Plate winners 2017; Bowl winners 2014, 2016; Shield winners 2008

Head Coach: Philippe Ebel (FRA)  Asst. Coach: Jèrôme Lollo (FRA)

Team Manager: Laurent Capdevielle

Treasurer: Patrick Casamayou (FRA)

Website: pyrenees7s.unblog.fr Facebook: “Pyrènèes Rugby Sevens” 

Twitter: pyreneesrugby7s  Instagram: pyreneesrugby7s

Kir Club Pyrenees are keen to establish themselves as a Cup contender and build on their victory in the second-tier Plate last year when their squad was captained by Damien Traille, France’s sixth-most capped player and a veteran of three Rugby World Cups, and multiple Six Nations and Grand Slams victories.

Pyrenees’ Plate victory – Traille missed the final through injury – secured their highest finish in the tournament since they reached the Cup semis on their second appearance in 2009.

Former Pau back rower Philippe Ebel, 50, is head coach this year and will be assisted by Jerome Lollo as the famous French touring side compete at Hong Kong Football Club for an 11th straight year.

Pyrenees have again brought a young line-up, with over half of the provisional squad aged between 20 and 25. Most of the squad represent Top 14 clubs, with others hailing from Pro D2 and the amateur Federale 1 (French rugby’s third tier), while speedy wing Johan Demai-Hamecher has been secured from the current France Sevens squad.

Guillaume Galletier, the 21-year-old brother of France back rower Kelian Galletier, is a hugely promising, powerfully built centre, and plays with his big brother at Montpellier. France U20 centre Romain Buros is another to watch and the 20-year-old’s potential was recently underlined when he signed a three-year contract to join UBB from Top 14 rivals Section Paloise (Pau).

More than 500 players have represented Pyrenees, which was founded in southwest France in 2004 and has been a long-time competitor at invitational events around the world including the Dubai Sevens and SCC Sevens in Singapore. The club is also committed to social projects, fielding mentally handicapped players in the Dubai Sevens, giving equipment to local amateur clubs and supporting charity organisations.

 

Jersey Player Name Position Height  Weight Age
1 Thibault Estorge (FRA) Prop 1.85 m 107 kg 23
2 Maxime Dupuy (FRA) Hooker 1.77 m 100 kg 26
3 Thomas Vernet (FRA) Prop 1.87 m 129 kg 23
4 Clèment Esteriola (FRA) Hooker 1.75 m 103 kg 27
5 Erwan Morel  (FRA) Flanker 1.86 m 105 kg 30
6 Jean-Yves Orabe  (FRA) Flanker 1.87 m 95 kg 27
7 Baptiste Lescarboura (BEL) Flanker 1.94 m 103 kg 24
8 Tanguy Molcard (FRA) Flanker 1.88 m 90 kg 28
9 Julien Berger (BEL) Scrumhalf 1.71 m 85 kg 28
10 Gauthier Doubrère (FRA) Scrumhalf 1.76 m 76 kg 22
11 Lucas Tolot (FRA) Winger 1.85 m 91 kg 25
12 Guillaume Galletier (FRA) Centre 1.78 m 98 kg 21
13 Romain Buros (FRA) Centre 1.82 m 88 kg 20
14 Tim Giresse (FRA) Winger 1.80 m 84 kg 24
15 Kylian Jaminet (FRA) Centre 1.90 m 100 kg 22
16 Johan Demai-Hamecher (FRA) Winger 1.81 m  82 kg 24

 

Seed 6: King’s College sponsored by Strategic Equity Alliance

Home: Australia  Players: Australia  Founded: 1912

HKFC 10s: 3 (2016-18) 

Highlights: Plate runners-up 2017; Plate semis 2016

Head Coach: David Jackman (AUS/RSA)

Asst. Coach: Dane Jones (RSA)

Team Managers: Matthew Jarvis (AUS/HKG), Andrew Collins (RSA)

Doctor: Omar Zumair (CAN)  Physio: Jonathan Moses (AUS)

Social Media: Jackson Cook (NZL/HKG)

Website: www.kingscollegerugby.com.au

Facebook: kingscollegerugby

Twitter: kingsrugbyqld  Instagram: kingsrugby

King’s College sponsored by Strategic Equity Alliance are the youngest team in the GFI HKFC 10s for a third straight year – and this time they’re even younger than usual, with an average age of 21!

Defying their status as 10th seeds for the past two years, the Aussie youngsters reached the Plate semis on their 2016 debut – the team’s first overseas tour and first 10-a-side event – and backed it up by contesting the Plate final last year, so now arrive with solid expectations.

David Jackman, 26, coaches the side for a third year and has a solid core of players with 10s experience including captain Campbell Wakely, who has played for Queensland Country in the NRC. The 24-year-old front rower is among five players in the provisional squad playing the 10s for a third straight year along with fellow forwards Thomas Vaessen and Austin Smith, and brothers Ben and Jock Campbell.

Scrumhalf Scott Gale – who has played Super Rugby for the Reds and in Japan for Kamaishi Seawaves – and James Ohmsen also provide continuity from last year, while Mac Burgess returns to Hong Kong after playing in 2016.

Pat Morrey currently plays for Brisbane City in the NRC and the 6-foot 3-inch back-rower is arguably the squad’s most exciting addition. The 22-year-old is strong, quick, hardworking and doesn’t back down from a challenge. But he’s quiet off the pitch.

The squad also including Natixis HKFC wing Josh Birch and Hong Kong Scottish forward Austin Smith, both King’s College graduates.

King’s College is home to over 300 men at the University of Queensland and most of the squad competing in Hong Kong play for UQRFC. Nicknamed the Red Heavies, UQRFC have won a record 31 titles in the Queensland Premier Rugby competition, most recently in 2017, and have a rich history of providing Australia internationals, among them 10 Wallaby captains including Stephen Moore, James Horwill, Nathan Sharpe and Michael Lynagh.

 

Jersey Player Name Position (15s) Height  Weight Age
  Campbell Wakely (AUS) (c)  Front Row 1.85 m 108 kg 24
  Ash Whitehead (AUS) Lock 1.93 m 98 kg 19
  Henry Sharp (AUS) Lock 1.70 m 80 kg 19
  Thomas Vaessen (AUS) Lock 1.90 m 102 kg 24
  Patrick Morrey (AUS) Back Row 1.90 m 80 kg 22
  Austin Smith (AUS/NZL) Back Row 1.82 m 98 kg 26
  Tom Sharp (AUS) Back Row/Hooker 1.86 m 96 kg 19
  Scott Gale (AUS) Scrumhalf 1.84 m 80 kg 23
  James Ohmsen (AUS) Scrumhalf/Flyhalf 1.82 m 80 kg 22
  Mac Burgess (AUS) Flyhalf 1.78 m 80 kg 23
  Harry McMahon (AUS) Centre 1.87 m 80 kg 18
  Finn Mounsey (AUS) Centre/Wing 1.78 m 80 kg 18
  Benjamin Campbell (AUS) Centre/Fullback 1.82 m 92 kg 26
  Jock Campbell (AUS) Wing/Fullback 1.86 m 80 kg 22
  Joshua Birch (AUS) Wing/Fullback 1.81 m 80 kg 22
  Luke Cuskelly (AUS) Wing/Fullback 1.78 m 80 kg 20
  Alex Moses (AUS) Wing 1.83 m 83 kg 18
  Conor Clancy (AUS) Fullback 1.82 m 80 kg 21

 

 

Seed 7: Projecx Waterboys

Home: Scotland  Players: Scotland  Founded: 2012

HKFC 10s: 3 (2016-18)  Highlights: Plate semis 2016, 2017

Coaches: Bruce Douglas (SCO), James King (SCO)

Manager: James 'Cakes' Robertson  Team Boss Alistair Munro

Physios: Lianne Brunton (SCO), Heather Ramsey (SCO)

Facebook: ProjecxWaterboys  Twitter: WaterboysRugby 

Instagram: WaterboysRugby

Bruce Douglas, who won 43 caps for Scotland, will co-coach Projecx Waterboys with former Edinburgh centre James King as the side packed with Scottish Premiership players compete in their third GFI HKFC 10s following successive appearances in the Cup quarter-finals and losses in the Plate semis.

Douglas, the Heriot’s forward coach, will maintain club links with former Scotland Sevens Michael Maltman and fellow flanker Jack Turley, the tall Kiwi who’s now back at Heriot’s after the former club captain spent a season with English National League 1 club Fylde.

Turley, who again represented Scotland Club XV this year, is the only player to represent Waterboys at the 10s for three straight years. Wingers Kerr Gossmann and Scott Bickerstaff – joined by younger brother Conor – are retained from last year’s squad, while scrumhalf George Graham and centre Will Wardlaw return from 2016.

Aside from Turley, the squad’s only other non-Scot is Nigerian lock Chukwuma 'CJ' Osazuwa, the Blackheath lock who will co-captain the side with scrumhalf Alex Glashan.

The Waterboys will face familiar opposition as they take on Penguins and Irish Vikings for a second year in the pool stage, having also lost to the Penguins in the 2016 quarter-finals. In 2016, Projecx Waterboys announced their arrival by upsetting Pyrenees in the pool stage to reach the Cup quarters, but the French exacted revenge last year in the Plate semis before going on to lift the trophy.

Projecx Waterboys was founded by Alistair Munro in 2012 with the aim of providing younger players with a link to Scotland, who were not within the SRU structure, the opportunity to compete in the world’s largest rugby sevens tournament in Dubai. Since then they have returned to Dubai each December as well as competed at other tournaments around the world including the Amsterdam Sevens, Budapest 7s, Stockholm 10s and Barbados 7s.

 

 

Jersey Player Name Position Height  Weight Age (Born)
1 Jack Steele (SCO) Flanker 1.83 m 111 kg 25 (09/09/1992)
2 Johnny Matthews (SCO) Hooker 1.82 m 106 kg 24 (05/07/1993)
3 Michael Maltman (SCO) Flanker 1.87 m 102 kg 27 (18/07/1990)
4 Jack Turley (NZL) Flanker 1.96 m 107 kg 29 (14/11/1988)
5 Chukwuma 'CJ' Osazuwa (NIG) (c)  Lock 1.99 m 112 kg 34 (06/01/1984)
6 Hamilton Burr Lock 1.93 m 105 kg 21 (19/06/1996 )
7 Buchan Richardson (SCO) Flanker 1.95 m 98 kg 23 (09/09/1994)
8 Michael Liness (SCO) Hooker 1.86 m 105 kg 27 (17/02/1991)
9 Alex Glashan (SCO) (c) Scrumhalf 1.80 m 90 kg 23 (23/05/1994)
10 Ben Appleson (SCO) Flyhalf 1.78 m 87 kg 19 (08/04/1998)
11 Kerr Gossman (SCO) Wing 1.79 m 90 kg 26 (09/09/1991)
12 Will Wardlaw (SCO) Centre 1.80 m 91 kg 27 (15/09/1990)
13 Archie Russell (SCO) Centre 1.82 m 90 kg 22 (27/03/1995)
14 Scott Bickerstaff (SCO) Wing 1.83 m 94 kg 27 (11/05/1990)
15 Conor Bickerstaff (SCO) Centre 1.78 m 92 kg 25 (24/05/1992)
16 George Graham (SCO) Scrumhalf 1.78 m 88 kg 27 (15/06/1990)
17 Nick McLennan (NZL/SCO) Centre 1.80 m 89 kg 29 (23/06/1988)
18 Robbie Ferguson (SCO) Centre 1.80m 88 kg 24 (30/08/1993)

 

Seed 8: Classic Wallabies

Home: Australia  Players: Australia

HKFC 10s: 2 (2017-18)  Highlights: Bowl semi-finals 2017

Head Coach: Justin Harrison (AUS, 34 caps)

Manager: Bill Young (AUS, 46 caps)

Website: www.rugby.com.au/teams/classic-wallabies

Classic Wallabies will again field a star-studded team of former Australia internationals including Wendell ‘Big Dell’ Sailor and Lote Tuqiri as the crowd favourites return to Hong Kong Football Club for their second appearance at the GFI HKFC 10s.

Justin Harrison and Bill Young, who both played in the 2003 World Cup final against England, are head coach and team manager respectively.

Sailor, centre Morgan Turinui – 2003 World Cup teammates – flanker Stephen Hoiles and scrumhalf Luke Burgess return from last year’s squad along with Super Rugby stalwarts Patrick Phibbs and Sam Harris.

Tuqiri, hooker Adam Freier, Matt Hodgson and the 6ft 6in Peter Kimlin, currently playing in the Japan Top League, are among Wallabies making their 10s debut.

Arthur Little and former Brumby Tyrone Smith are also among those over 30, while the squad has been bolstered by several current or recent Super Rugby and Australia Sevens representatives in their 20s including David McDuling, Alex Gibbon and Fred Dorrough.

Melbourne Rebels stars David Horwitz and Henry Hutchison also join the squad, illustrating how seriously the Classic Wallabies are taking the event.

Classic Wallabies had an up-and-down tournament debut, threatening to upset two-time finalists Tradition YCAC in a 10-7 defeat in the pool stage before eventually losing in the semi-finals of the third-tier Bowl.

 

Jersey First Name Position Height Weight Age
  Adam Freier (AUS) Hooker 1.71 m 85 kg 38
  Matt Hodgson (AUS) Flanker 1.85 m 103 kg 36
  Stephen Hoiles (AUS) Flanker 1.90 m 102 kg 36
  Peter Kimlin (AUS) Lock 1.98 m 114 kg 32
  David McDuling (AUS) Lock 1.96 m 115 kg 28
  Luke Burgess (AUS) Scrumhalf 1.79 m 89 kg 34
  Patrick Phibbs (AUS) Scrumhalf 1.80 m 90 kg 36
  Fred Dorrough (AUS) Flyhalf 1.80 m 90 kg 22
  Sam Harris (AUS) Centre 1.90 m 103 kg 38
  David Horwitz (AUS) Centre 1.82 m 92 kg 23
  Tyrone Smith (AUS) Centre 1.78 m 94 kg 34
  Morgan Turinui (AUS) Centre 1.81 m 101 kg 36
  Lote Tuqiri (AUS) Wing 1.91 m 102 kg 38
  Alex Gibbon (AUS) Wing 1.81 m 91 kg 25
  Henry Hutchison (AUS) Wing 1.75 m 86 kg 21
  Wendell Sailor (AUS)  Wing 1.91 m 106 kg 43
  Arthur Little (AUS) Fullback 1.81 m 88 kg 36

 

 

Seed 9: Taikoo Place Scottish Exiles

Home: Hong Kong  Players: International  Founded: 2012

HKFC 10s: 7 (2012-2018) 

Highlights: Cup semis 2015; Plate runners-up 2012, 2013, 2016

Head Coach: Craig Hammond (NZL) 

Asst Coach: Bryan Rennie (SCO)

Team Manager: Stephen Dowse (UK)

Website: www.hongkongscottish.com 

Facebook: Hong-Kong-Scottish-RFC 

Twitter: hkscottish  Instagram: hkscottish

Taikoo Place Scottish Exiles have been a fixture in the top half of the competition after finishing second in their pool for six straight years since 2012, although that record will be tested this year as ninth seeds.

Hong Kong Scottish coach Craig Hammond, who also holds a coaching role with the Hong Kong 15s set-up, again takes charge of an Exiles squad made up predominantly of his club’s players and supplemented by leading lights from other local Premiership teams.

Like Hammond, Hong Kong Scottish General Manager Bryan Rennie used to play for Exiles in the 10s, but this year the former Scotland A international continues in his off-pitch role as assistant coach, with Hong Kong U20 head coach Stephen Dowse as team manager.

Hong Kong Scottish forwards dominate the pack. Prop Jamie Pincott, who has won two caps for Hong Kong, has been a 10s regular, while flanker George Fleming will play for a third straight year and youngster Ale Nardoni a second. Kiwi front-rowers Ash Hyde and Shea Turner, and Australian Luke Papworth will make their 10s debut.

Gregor McNeish won the 2016 Scottish Premiership and BT Cup double with Heriot’s and the flyhalf returns from last year’s 10s squad along with Hong Kong Scottish teammate Ben Cullen, while young scrumhalf Mark Coebergh makes his debut.

Kowloon duo Bryn Phillips, the former Cardiff scrumhalf, and former Scotland Sevens flier Chris Kinloch represent Exiles for a second year and come with clubmate Lewis Warner, while HKCC centres Gair Currie and Luke Van Der Smit, and Gai Wu’s Jason Tomane are among new backs.

 

 

Jersey Player Name Position  Height  Weight Age
  Ash Hyde (NZL) Prop 1.86 m 108 kg 28
  Shea Turner (NZL) Hooker 1.83 m 97 kg 25
  Jamie Pincott (HKG) Lock 1.93 m 120 kg 28
  George Fleming (SCO) Flanker 1.98 m 110 kg 28
  Ale Nardoni (HKG) Flanker 1.88 m 95 kg 21
  Luke Papworth (AUS) Flanker 1.88 m 105 kg 22
  Mark Coebergh (HKG) Scrumhalf 1.66 m 72 kg 20
  Bryn Phillips (WAL) Scrumhalf 1.76 m 80 kg 25
  Gregor McNeish (SCO) (c)  Flyhalf 1.78 m 75 kg 25
  Gair Currie (SCO) Centre 1.90 m 100 kg 23
  Luke Van Der Smit (RSA) Centre 1.84 m 110 kg 23
  Jason Tomane (AUS) Centre 1.88 m 104 kg 22
  Lewis Warner (UK) Centre 1.81 m 88 kg 26
  Ben Cullen (WAL) Wing 1.87 m 90 kg 27
  Chris Kinloch (SCO) Wing 1.85 m 100 kg 29 

 

Seed 10: CCIG Tigers

Home: USA  Players: USA  Founded: 2007

HKFC 10s: 1 (2018)  Highlights: Debut

Head coach: Paul Holmes (RSA)  Asst Coach: Adriaan Ferris (NZL)

Tiger Executive: James Walker (USA)  Team Sponsor: Phil Tagami

Team Manager: Mark Price  Team Doctor: Dr Scott Lessard

Physiotherapist: Kelly Farmer  Massage Therapist: Anna Castellano

Website: www.tigerrugby.com

Facebook: tiger.rugby  Twitter: tigerrugby  Instagram: tigerrugby_

CCIG Tigers are a welcome addition from USA as they make their 10-a-side tournament debut at the GFI HKFC 10s. A development partner of USA Rugby, Tiger Rugby was founded in 2007 and has trained and fielded many national-team players including legendary speedster Perry Baker, the 2017 World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, and five other Olympians.

The well-travelled touring team has played in invitational events in South Africa, Australia, Fiji, Argentina, Kenya, Scotland, Mexico and China, but are in Hong Kong for the first time.

Tiger Rugby founder James Walker and business partner Paul Holmes, both originally from South Africa, will be in Hong Kong, where the latter will coach the side with the support of New Zealander Adriaan Ferris.

Sponsored by CCIG this year, Tigers competed in last month’s Las Vegas Invitational event at the USA Sevens and later this month will head to Scotland for the Melrose Sevens after their Hong Kong debut.

Sam McGuffie is one to watch as the former American Football running back – who had spells with Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots – follows up on his Tiger debut in Las Vegas, which came just weeks after he competed in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang for the USA bobsled team!

The squad also includes several players who have recently represented USA Eagles (15s) including forwards Psalm Wooching, Pat Blair and centre Lorenzo Thomas, and ‘adopted Americans’ like Australia-born flanker Harry Higgins and Kiwi scrumhalf Devereaux Ferris-St Bruno.

USA Sevens players include forward Anthony Welmers, flyhalf Naima Fualaau and newcomers Nick Boyer and Cody Melphy, while Australian Peni Tagive, who played several years in the NRL, and Samoa-born teenager Faitala Talapusi have also joined the programme.

International additions include 120-kilogramme Kiwi prop Isieli Tu'ungafusi and former England Sevens star Mat Turner, top try scorer on the 2011/12 World Rugby Sevens Series, who is playing in his third 10s after starring for Samurai in 2014 and Tradition YCAC the following year.  

 

 

Jersey Player Position Height  Weight Age
  Isieli Tu'ungafusi (NZL) Prop 1.90 m 122 kg 22
  Jacob Finau (USA) Hooker 1.80 m 113 kg 24
  Falaniko Tuliau (NZL) Hooker 1.78 m 111 kg 24
  Pat Blair (USA) Flanker 1.88 m 104 kg 28
  Anthony Welmers (USA) Flanker 1.93 m 100 kg 25
  Chris Frazier (USA) Flanker 1.93 m 100 kg 27
  Harry Higgins (AUS) No. 8 1.90 m 109 kg 26
  Psalm Wooching (USA) No. 8 1.90 m 109 kg 24
  Devereaux Ferris-St Bruno (NZL) Scrumhalf 1.75 m 82 kg 23
  Naima Fuala'au (USA) Flyhalf 1.78 m 84 kg 29
  Lorenzo Thomas (USA) Centre 1.90 m 109 kg 21
  Peni Tagive (AUS) Centre 1.93 m 100 kg 29
  Nick Boyer (USA) Centre 1.90 m 100 kg 24
  Cody Melphy (USA) Centre 1.78 m 90 kg 25
  Sam McGuffie (USA) Wing 1.80 m 95 kg 28
  Ben Broselle (USA) Wing 1.85 m 93 kg 18
  Faitala Talapusi (USA) Fullback 1.85 m 86 kg 18

 

Seed 11: Irish Vikings

Home: UK  Players: International  Founded: 2001

HKFC 10s: 18 (2001-2018)  Highlights: Plate Winners 2003, 2007

Head Coach: Ryan Parkin  Team Manager: Andy Douglas

Hailing from a pre-social media era and still wearing a strip that puts ladies first, Irish Vikings are competing in their 18th straight GFI HKFC 10s, only trailing hosts Natixis HKFC in number of appearances among this year’s teams.

Long-time manager Andy Douglas is participating at the 10s for the 22nd year but the former Hong Kong and Singapore forward continues to stick to managerial duties, having played at the 10s until his late 40s. Douglas was rightly proud that his Vikings turned over the Classic Wallabies in last year’s Bowl semi-finals, although they found three-time Cup runners-up Samurai a step too far in the final.

Ryan Parkin, Player of the Tournament in 2003 when Vikings won the Plate, has come onboard to look after the squad, having recently been coaching in France for four years, while Vikings stalwarts on the pitch include English hooker Liam Wordley and former South Africa Sevens wing Marc Watson.

This year’s provisional squad is similar to last year’s, but without the England Sevens players. The many New Zealanders include centre Matt Dalley and flanker Ollie Brosnahan – who last year scored three and two tries respectively– and multi-talented hooker Bryn Templeman, competing at the 10s for a third straight year.

Regan King – who played for Chiefs, Stade Francais, Clermont and Scarlets – also returns from 2017 along with compatriots Jamie Perigo and Hong Kong-based Doug Fluker, while Kiwi debutants include young Manawatu scrumhalf Atu Henare and HKCC lock Lawrence Babe.

Sam Pailor, a big, all-action forward and former Wales U20 representative, returns from 2017, while newcomers include American centre Eyal Hakim and Welsh back Adam Field, who has Wales Sevens experience.

The team’s recent Sevens Series players have included England’s Dan Bibby – an Olympic silver medallist – Ollie Marchon and brothers Harry and Will Glover, as well as New Zealand’s Jordan Bunce. In 2013, Bibby and Marchon helped Vikings win the Shield in 2013, a victory dedicated to Vikings founder Mike ‘Raker’ McLean, the Ulster legend who passed away the previous year.

 

Jersey Player Name Position (15s) Height  Weight Age
  Bryn Templeman (NZL) Hooker 1.74 m 96 kg 30
  Liam Wordley (ENG) Hooker 1.88 m  115 kg 38
  Sam Pailor (WAL) Lock, Back Row 1.95 m 98 kg 28
  Lawrence Babe (NZL) Lock 1.92 m 101 kg 29
  Ollie Brosnahan (NZL) Flanker 1.89 m 95 kg 21
  Atu Henare (NZL) Scrumhalf      
  Matt Dalley (NZL) Centre 1.87 m 97 kg 28
  Regan King (NZL) Centre 1.88 m  93 kg 37
  Eyal Hakim (USA) Centre      
  Jamie Perigo (NZL) Centre, Fullback 1.84 m 96 kg 24
  Doug Fluker (NZL) Wing, Fullback 1.80 m 80 kg 32
  Marc Watson (RSA) Wing 1.90 m  95 kg 46
  Adam Field (WAL) Wing 1.90 m 96 kg 27

 

Seed 12: A-Trade Overseas Old Boys

Home: Hong Kong  Players: International  Founded: 2004

HKFC 10s: 15 (2004-2018) 

Highlights: Plate winners 2016, Bowl winners 2005

Head Coach: Ken Woodward (UK)  Asst. Coach: Kenzo Pannell (JPN)

Kicking Coach: Kev Herbert (UK)  Team Manager: Rob Wright (UK)

Physio: Dave Bayldon (UK)

Website: www.overseasoldboys.com

Facebook: OSOBOFFICIAL  Twitter: overseasoldboys  

After former New Zealand Sevens star Zar Lawrence captained A-Trade Overseas Old Boys to a surprise Plate victory in 2016, the team were brought back to earth last year when Aussie youngsters King’s College ultimately put them back into the bottom half by winning the clash of the middle seeds in Pool C.

On knockout day, OSOB comfortably beat the East Africans – among their Pool A opponents this time – in the Bowl quarters, then had the misfortune of facing three-time Cup finalists Samurai in the semis.

This year, former Samoa U20 prop Iafeta Luamanu and Hong Kong flanker Raef Morrison will lead from the front for a third straight 10s, while Kiwi flanker Adam Jones is another regular of recent years. Portuguese playmaker Diogo Miranda played in 2016 and again brings experience of over 40 Sevens Series events.

Otherwise, the squad has a fresh look and in total represents nine nations from New Zealand and Australia to Tonga, Fiji and Samoa, and onto the UK, Ireland, France and Portugal. And that’s not if you count Morrison from Hong Kong.

Savelio Ropati has played for Samoa Sevens in recent years and was teammates with Fijian wing Epeli Lotawa as Counties Manukau won New Zealand’s Northern Region Sevens in December.

Towering Kiwi lock Daymon Leasuasu plays for Counties Manukau in the Mitre 10 Cup, while fullback Michael Toloke has represented Tonga 15s and currently plays in Japan. It’s not all overseas-based talent, though. Hong Kong clubs are represented by forwards Jamie Chipman and Liam Herbert, and backs Brando Vaaulu and teenager Paul Altier.

Long-time coach Ken Woodward will be assisted by Kenzo Pannell, son of the late Tony Pannell who co-founded the side in 2004 with Rob Wright specifically for the 10s. Wright continues as manager and is again grateful to the team’s merry band of generous supporters, especially long-time naming sponsor A-Trade.

Initially inspired by the regular Hong Kong v Overseas Schoolboys fixture at Hong Kong Football Club on New Year’s Day, Old Boys are making their 15th straight appearance at the GFI HKFC 10s, putting them behind only hosts Natixis HKFC (33) and Irish Vikings (18) among this year’s sides.

 

 

Jersey Player Name Position Height  Weight Age
1 Paul Altier (FRA) Flyhalf 1.83 m 83 kg 18
2 Iafeta Luamanu (NZL) Hooker/Prop 1.75 m 115 kg 23
3 Brendan Asomua-Goodman (NZL) Hooker/Flanker 1.78 m 98 kg 21
4 Jamie Chipman (NZL) Lock 1.97 m 110 kg 28
6 Daymon Leasuasu (NZL) Lock 2.00 m 115 kg 25
7 Brendan Mitchell (AUS) Back Row 1.90 m 100 kg 25
8 Ryan Guilfoyle (IRE) Scrumhalf/Flyhalf 1.67 m 75 kg 21
9 Jake Ashby (NZL) Scrumhalf 1.73 m 82 kg 25
10 Diogo Miranda (POR) Scrumhalf/Flyhalf 1.79 m 84 kg 30
11 Savelio Ropati (SAM) Utility Back 1.93 m 97 kg 25
12 Michael Toloke (TON) Fullback 1.82 m 101 kg 27
13 Ian Condell (IRE) Flanker 1.78 m 92 kg 30
14 Adam Jones (NZL) Flanker/Hooker 1.76 m 105 kg 29
15 Epeli Lotawa (FIJ) Wing 1.89 m 95 kg 24
16 Brando Vaaulu (AUS) Flyhalf/Fullback 1.80 m 92 kg 30
17 Liam Herbert (UK) Flanker/Centre 1.86 m 85 kg 19
18 Rick McKenna (NZL) Scrumhalf/Fullback 1.75 m 85 kg 28
19 Raef Morrison (UK) Back Row 1.87 m 89 kg 22

 

Seed 13: Sedbergh School Old Boys

Home: UK  Players: UK  Founded: 1525 (Sedbergh School)

HKFC 10s: 1 (2018)  Highlights: Debut

Head Coach: Dan Harrison 

Asst. Coaches: Stuart Oliver, Chris Mahon

Team Manager: Ben Collins

Physios:  Nils Kilgren, Robert Jefferies  Nurse: Justine Mahon

Website: http://osclub.sedberghschool.org

Facebook: OldSedberghianClub  Twitter: SedberghOS

One of two newcomers to this year’s GFI HKFC 10s, Sedbergh School Old Boys will be captained by former England rugby league prop Ewan Dowes as the alumni seek to build on the school’s victory in the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s U18 Cup in late March.

Established in 1525 in the town of Sedbergh in Cumbria, northwest England, Sedbergh School is renowned for producing over 30 rugby union internationals including long-time England captain Will Carling, 2003 Rugby World Cup winner Will Greenwood, James Simpson-Daniel and Phil Dowson.

Dowes is a rare public school-educated rugby league international, although in 2001 he signed a dual contract with Leeds Rhinos and Leeds Tykes.

He played most his rugby league career for Hull (2003-11), helping the side win the Challenge Cup in 2005 and reach the Super League grand final a year later, while also winning seven caps for England.

Dowes, 36, is not the only squad member with international pedigree. The 6-foot 6-inch, 20-stone Dean Schofield will provide a massive presence in the forwards and plenty of experience after a 17-year professional career that included a decade at Sale Sharks – winning the Premiership in 2006 – two years each at Top 14 club Toulon and Worcester, and two caps for England in 2007.

Prop Dan Elkington, 21, represented Scotland U20 and currently plays for Melrose in the Scottish Premiership, while Kowloon captain Phil Whitfield is among several Hong Kong-based players in the squad.

The side will be coached by Yorkshireman Dan Harrison, who helped produce dozens of schoolboy internationals as coach of the school’s First XV for a decade.

 

Jersey Player Name Position Height  Weight Age
1 Ewan Dowes (UK) (c)  Prop 1.85 m 103 kg 37
2 Dean Schofield (UK) Lock 1.98 m 124 kg 39
3 Dan Elkington (UK) Prop 1.85 m 103 kg 21
4 Robert Birtwell (UK) Lock 1.98 m 116 kg 29
5 Hayden Thompson-Green  (UK) Back Row 1.88 m 103 kg 19
6 Phil Whitfield (UK) Back Row 1.80 m 96 kg 27
7 Richard Addison (UK) Scrumhalf 1.70 m 70 kg 21
8 Chris Swainson (UK) Back Row 1.86 m 92 kg 28
9 George Drake (UK) Flyhalf 1.79 m 92 kg 28
10 Tom Barrett (UK) Flyhalf/Centre 1.77 m 82 kg 26
11 Jordan Annett (UK) Flyhalf/Centre 1.74 m 80 kg 26
12 Oliver Pointon (UK) Centre 1.77 m 96 kg 30
15 Nathan Wyman (UK) Fullback 1.90 m 90 kg 20
16 James Christie (UK) Scrumhalf/Centre 1.73 m 83 kg 21
17 Harry Laidler (UK) Scrumhalf 1.74 m 73 kg 18
20 Alejandro Diaz Horstmann (GER) Flanker 1.90 m 93 kg 20
22 Tom Wootton (UK) Wing 1.80 m 83 kg 22
TBC Jack Smales (UK) Wing 1.75 m 75 kg 34

 

Seed 14: Devil's Own Shanghai Silver Dragons

Home: China  Players: International  Founded: 1881

HKFC 10s: 7 (2012-2018)  Highlights: Plate winners 2017

Head Coach: Alfredo Barrends (RSA) Asst Coach: Josh Lane (IRE)

Team Manager: Mark Ralph (UK)

Website: www.rugbyshanghai.com  Facebook: rugbyshanghai

Twitter: rugbyshanghai  Instagram: shanghairugbyfootballclub

Devil’s Own Shanghai Silver Dragons return for their seventh straight appearance in the GFI HKFC 10s riding the high of last year’s Shield victory after – by far – their best performance in the competition.

Shanghai return to Hong Kong as the current All China 15s champions, Sino East 10s champions and Xiamen 10s winners, having enjoyed comprehensive victories in their Yellow Sea Cup games against Seoul and Beijing.

Shanghai RFC head coach Alfredo Barends will coach the side in Hong Kong, where returning players from last year include skipper Caleb Balloch, bruising centre Matt Holding, fullback Corne Du Toit, scrumhalf Luke Taylor, winger Tommy Kwok and the consistently miserable Alex Webb.

The squad is again managed by Mark Ralph, who played at the 10s for the best part of two decades, starting in 1996 as captain of Bosa Virgins until hanging up his boots in 2015. ‘Ralphy’ celebrated his 50th birthday in 2017 so last year’s Shield victory was a popular present to the man who has given so much to the club.

Based in the northeast of the city, Shanghai RFC has an ongoing partnership with the Shanghai University of Sport and together run three men’s and two women’s teams in the city.

Devil’s Own Shanghai Silver Dragons is the side’s sixth different team name in seven years. The others are: Devil’s Advocate Silver Dragons (2015, 2017), Devil’s Own Shanghai Rugby (2016), Devil’s Own Wanderers (2014), Playmore’s Devil's Own Wanderers (2013) and Playmore’s Shanghai Devils (2012).

 

Jersey Player Name Position (15s) Height  Weight Age
1 Zach Fanders (USA) Prop 1.83 m 90 kg 34
2 Phillip Dalladay-Simpson (UK) Hooker 1.83 m 90 kg 29
3 Tommy Kwok (HKG) Wing 1.83 m 90 kg 27
4 Felipe Gacitua (CHI) Flanker 1.83 m 90 kg 34
5 Tommy Peel (UK) Lock 1.96 m 96 kg 29
6 Filippo Gesuato (ITA) Lock 1.82 m 84 kg 27
7 Caleb Balloch (CAN) No.8 1.83 m 90 kg 32
8 Charlie Jacobsen (UK) Hooker 1.83 m 90 kg 20
9 Luke Taylor (UK) Scrumhalf 1.72 m 69 kg 27
10 Alex Webb (UK) Flyhalf 1.83 m 90 kg 30
11 Ratu Totivi Dakaninviti Ralulu (FIJ) Scrumhalf 1.78 m 85 kg 23
12 Matthew Holding (UK) Centre 1.83 m 90 kg 28
13 Corne Du Toit (UK) Centre 1.83 m 90 kg 30
14 Taofia Jr Tuimauga (SAM) Centre 1.83 m 90 kg 27
15 Joseph Ya-shing Krassenstein (USA) Centre 1.92 m 98 kg 25
16 Thibault Lopez (FRA) Scrumhalf 1.70 m 73 kg 29
17 Philippe Dourojeanni (CHI) Centre 1.86 m 88 kg 29
18 Tiger De Jonge (NZL) Flanker 1.83 m 96 kg 20

 

 

Seed 15: Natixis HKFC

Home: Hong Kong  Players: Hong Kong  Founded: 1886

HKFC 10s: 33 (1986-2018) 

Highlights: Plate Winners 1994, 2000; Bowl Winners 2007, 2011; Shield Winners 2012, 2016

Head Coach: Cameron McIntosh (AUS)

Team Manager: Jonny Rees (UK)  Physio: Tim McCosker

Website: www.hkfcrugby.com  Facebook: HKFC-Rugby-Section

Twitter: HKFCrugby  Instagram: hkfcrugby

Natixis HKFC enter this year’s GFI HKFC 10s high on confidence after one of their best domestic campaigns in recent years, even if it ended in frustration in the Grand Championships semi-finals after a one-point home loss to Valley, a team they had beaten 22-10 and 35-3 in their two previous league encounters.

New coach Cameron McIntosh has since been working to lift his men for the GFI HKFC 10s in a bid to make up for last year’s disappointing display in which they lost all five matches and exited in the Plate semis.

A year earlier, HKFC won the Shield for their first silverware since lifting the same trophy in 2012, having lost in the finals of the Bowl and Shield respectively in 2014 and 2015.

HKFC have competed in every edition of the tournament and always enjoy strong support from the home crowd, especially on the Thursday when they’ll again be expected to make a strong run for one of the lower-tier trophies.

This year the side will be led by the club’s 15s co-captains Mitch Andrews and Tom Isaacs, the former Wales Sevens star who arrived in Hong Kong in late 2016 but missed last year’s 10s through injury, although he had played in it twice for Cardiff a decade earlier.

The burly Andrews has also proved a strong addition to the club since arriving in November 2015 from Australia, where he played for Melbourne Unicorns in the Dewar Shield and Melbourne Rising in the Australian Rugby Championship.

Centre Ben Axten-Burrett will play in the 10s for a third straight year and flanker Paddy Cook also returns from last year’s squad, while newcomers include powerful 6-foot 4-inch Australian centre Tom Hill and 6-foot 5-inch, 114-kilogramme South African winger Marno Meyer.

 

Jersey Player Name Position Height  Weight Age
  Mitch Andrews (NZL) (c) Hooker 1.76 m 105 kg 28
  Cris Pierrepont (PHI) Flanker 1.83 m 101 kg 21
  Chris Walker (ENG) Flanker 1.83 m 100 kg  26
  Patrick Jenkinson (UK) Flanker 1.83 m 90 kg 24
  Ben Willis (AUS) Flanker 1.83 m 90 kg 28
  Jack Abbott (HKG) Flanker 1.79 m 85 kg 18
  Paddy Cook (NZL) Back Row 1.76 m 92 kg 23
  Paul Gualino (FRA) Back Row 1.88 m 100 kg  24
  Tim Duchanse (AUS) Scrumhalf 1.74 m 90 kg 26
  Chris Levesley (UK) Scrumhalf 1.70 m 70 kg 24
  Nate De Thierry (NZL) Flyhalf 1.78 m 90 kg 24
  Glyn Hughes (UK) Flyhalf 1.80 m 90 kg 26
  Tom Hill (AUS) Centre 1.93 m 105 kg 28
  Tom Isaacs (WAL) (c)  Centre 1.83 m 93 kg 31
  Ben Axten-Burrett (UK) Centre 1.78 m 98 kg 26
  Marno Meyer (RSA) Wing 1.96 m  114 kg 33
  Adam Raby (HKG) Wing 1.82 m 80 kg 31
  Josh Coward (AUS) Utility 1.75 m 80 kg 20

 

Seed 16: Hunter + Boo East Africans

Home: Rwanda  Players: Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya  Founded: 2015

HKFC 10s: 4 (2015-2018)  Highlights: Bowl semis 2015, 2016

Head Coach: John McKittrick (NZL)  Backs Coach: Ben Breeze (UK)

Forwards Coach: Alex Poole (UK)  Manager: Dave Hughes (HKG)

Facebook: RwandaRugby  Twitter: RugbyRwanda 

Instagram: RugbyRwanda

With their third different naming sponsor in four years, Hunter + Boo East Africans are looking to bounce back after last year when they exited after five losses, unable to repeat their Bowl semi-final achievements of their first two campaigns.

The squad again features Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda internationals, and this year has been bolstered by South Africans Angelo Grant Nelson and Ismaeel Schroeder, as well as former Tonga Sevens player Roger Tu Ewin.

Benjamin Makombe and Allan Otim are back at the GFI HKFC 10s for the fifth time in six years, having played in the Rwanda team that debuted in 2013 under former Scotland coach Frank Hadden.

Flanker George Olwoch and front-rower Asuman Mugerwa of Uganda and Kenyan flanker Philip Awuor are representing East Africans for a third year, while hooker Cyrus Wathum and flyhalf Jaspher Ochen of Uganda, and winger Tony Onyango – who has represented Kenya on the World Rugby Sevens Series – return from last year’s squad.

Former USA Sevens boss John McKittrick is head coach for a fourth straight year and supported for a third time by Ben Breeze, who played for Bristol, Newport Gwent Dragons and Exeter Chiefs, and represented England U21 and Wales Sevens. Alex Poole has also come onboard as forwards coach.

Dave Hughes remains the team’s main organiser. The Hong Kong-based Brit moved to Rwanda in 2008 and is currently Honorary Director of the FFR (Federation Rwandaise de Rugby), which became a full member of World Rugby in December 2015.

The Rwandan Silverbacks competed in the Kowloon RugbyFest from 2010 to 2012 before Rwanda made their 10s debut in 2013, then returned with East African reinforcements from 2015 onwards and non-African additions from 2017.

In 2015, East Africans drew 5-5 with eighth seeds Allied World Forces Exiles of Wales before beating Shandong in the Bowl quarters and losing in the semis to UBB Gavekal. In 2016, they crushed XBlades Rowzy Pegasi in the pool stage before beating Devil’s Own Shanghai Rugby to reach the Bowl semis, again losing to UBB Gavekal.

 

Jersey Player Name Position (15s) Height Weight  Age
1 Benjamin Makombe (RWA) Prop 1.75 m 106 kg 27
2 Cyrus Wathum (UGA) Hooker/Flanker 1.66 m 90 kg 22
3 Asuman Mugerwa (UGA) Front Row 1.73 m 106 kg 29
4 Philip Awuor (KEN) Loose Forward 1.88 m 100 kg 31
5 Martin Owilah Omondi (KEN) Back Row 1.86 m 100 kg 29
6 George Olwoch (UGA) Loose Forward 1.84 m 108 kg 36
7 Godfrey Muhigwa Cox (UGA) Flanker/Winger 1.87 m 96 kg 30
  Ismaeel Schroeder (RSA) Hooker  1.78 m 98 kg 22
9 Samson Bogongo Osomu (KEN) Scrumhalf 1.68 m 80 kg 27
10 Jaspher Ochen (UGA) Flyhalf/Centre 1.83 m 86 kg 26
  Angelo Grant Nelson (RSA) Fullback/Winger 1.85 m 84 kg 31
12 Leo Seje Owade (KEN) Centre 1.80 m 99 kg 28
13 Irwin Finau (NZL) Back Row 1.93 m 108 kg 34
14 Vincent Mose (KEN) Fullback/Winger 1.79 m 80 kg 34
15 Tony Onyango (KEN) Fullback/Winger 1.84 m 83 kg 27
16 Allan Otim (RWA) Utility 1.83 m 89 kg 32
  Nathan Vaatausili (NZL) Back Row 1.86 m 100 kg 20
  Patrick Pati (NZL) Centre 1.85 m 83 kg 18
8 Joshua Chisanga