Hong Kong Sevens

HK call up seasoned pair for Japan 7s

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 March, 2012, 12:00am

Hong Kong have called up seasoned internationals Fan Shun-kei and Tsang Hing-hung for this weekend's daunting trip to the Japan Sevens.

Fresh from their heroic effort at last weekend's Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Hong Kong play in a world series event away from home for the first time and face New Zealand, Australia and the US in their pool.

Head coach Dai Rees has made three changes, with Fan (pictured), Tsang and Jamie Hood coming in for forward Mark Goosen and backs Ally Maclay and Tim Alexander. Rowan Varty will again captain the squad in Tokyo.

'We were always looking to use 15 or 16 players over both of the Hong Kong and Tokyo legs,' Rees said.

'This was designed to balance the tough turnaround over the two tour naments and also to transition play- ers for the upcoming HSBC Asian Five Nations [15s]. Mark, Tim and Ally are all prominent 15s players who we have decided to leave behind for early preparation for the A5N.

'We are fortunate to be able to bring in two seasoned internationals in Fan Shun-kei and Tsang Hing-hung and will take Jamie Hood to replace Ally Maclay at the centre position and for his ability to provide specialist cover for Keith Robertson on day one.'

Key playmaker Robertson was banned for three matches for a spear tackle against Japan last weekend, but will still go to Tokyo.

Rees said: 'It's a two-day competition and we know on day one we are up against the series leaders in New Zealand and sixth-ranked Australia. We know we are capable of pushing Australia, having being down there earlier in the season ...

'On day two we are going to be in the competition, but we're probably going to be in the bottom half. So we need our best team on Sunday to pressurise teams like Japan again and Portugal and Russia. A fresh Keith Robertson on day two will be a pretty potent player to have up my sleeve.'