Top-flight French clubs set for Hong Kong clash
Two top French clubs, Toulouse and Racing Metro Paris, who both play in the country's premier Top 14 League, will make their debut appearances in Hong Kong when they take on each other at the Aberdeen Stadium on November 9.
The request to play in the city had caught the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union by surprise, but the governing body had no hesitation in giving its support to the privately organised game, which will not be part of the Top 14 competition but an exhibition match.
"It is fantastic that two French clubs of this calibre want to play in Hong Kong. Any game of this nature, and featuring a number of international players is bound to be good for the game and we are happy to support this initiative," said HKRFU chairman Trevor Gregory.
The French professional Top 14 League has long attracted some of the world's premier rugby stars. Toulouse and Racing Metro will bring a coterie of top players, including New Zealand All Blacks Luke McAllister and Hosea Gear, Welsh stars Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate, Irishman Jonny Sexton and a plethora of French rugby legends such as Vincent Clerc and Thierry Dusautoir.
French bank Natixis, sponsor of Racing Metro 92, and title sponsor of the Natixis Rugby Cup Hong Kong, is helping to bring this week-long festival to the city with community and club clinics, training sessions, gala dinners and charitable activities all planned for the build up to kick-off of the first French professional league club match in Asia.