Tens tournament aims to be bigger and better
Bigger and better - that is the battle cry from organisers of the GFI Hong Kong Football Club Tens, which has been expanded to 24 teams.
This year's contest will also see former England star Lawrence Dallaglio (pictured) making a guest appearance in aid of charity.
The ex-England captain and star backrow man will not be seen among the players doing battle on the field, but will be the face of the March 23-24 tournament which has been expanded as part of HKFC's 125th anniversary celebrations.
'Increasing the field to 24 teams was a natural way for us to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of the club,' said Chris Harker, chairman of the HKFC Tens organising committee. 'The tournament is set to grow on both a competitive and social level, further reaffirming our position at the cutting edge of international 10-a-side rugby.'
Dallaglio will also take part in the tournament's official charity campaign in aid of the Deaf Society of Hong Kong. 'I've never had the privilege of playing at the Tens but I am very aware of the tournament,' said Dallaglio, a top backrow player who was capped 85 times for England. 'Tens is something different and clearly there is room for all versions of the game in the rugby calendar. Like sevens, tens is a fast-paced, energetic, powerful and skilful game.'
Dallaglio played at the 1985 Hong Kong Sevens for a President's Sevens, and was also an influential member of the England Sevens team that shocked the world by winning the inaugural World Cup in 1993.
Organisers revealed yesterday that 24 teams from around the world have accepted invitations to take part in the tournament, one of the highlights of a rugby week in Hong Kong that culminates in the Hong Kong Sevens.
As part of the HKFC's 125th anniversary celebrations, free entry will be offered to the public on Wednesday, March 23.
Entrance for the finals day (March 24) will be HK$100.