Hong Kong Premiership

HKRU Premiership 2016-17

Former Wales player Tom Isaacs continues Hong Kong rugby love affair at HKFC

Boasting sevens and 10s experience, the 29-year-old is now strutting his stuff in the HKRU Premiership and played a vital role in his side’s win over Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers on Saturday

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 October, 2016, 8:40pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 October, 2016, 12:14am

Former Wales sevens player Tom Isaacs has plenty of fond memories of the Hong Kong rugby scene, with a run to the quarter-finals in this year’s tournament at Hong Kong Stadium top of the list.

It was Gordon Tietjens mighty New Zealand side that put an end to that sojourn, but Isaacs’ connection with Hong Kong certainly doesn’t end at the sevens.

He was in Hong Kong a decade ago playing for Cardiff University at the Hong Kong 10s and, after signing with Natixis Hong Kong Football Club for the Premiership season, is keen on lapping up more of what the city’s rugby scene has to offer.

In the latest instalment, Isaacs was impressive at fly-half in his side’s 29-13 victory over Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers on Saturday.

“I was out here with Cardiff Uni for the Hong Kong 10’s,” he said. “That was 10 years ago, it makes me feel old. I came out here as a fresher and in my second year and we lost in the plate final twice.

“I’ve got good memories of being here and I’m hoping to make some more now that I’m here for the future.”

Isaacs, one of two Wales sevens products in the HKFC side along with lock Jevon Groves, has chosen to call Hong Kong home as he aims to make the shift from professional rugby to the workforce.

He is looking forward to the possibility of again featuring in the 10’s next year, as well as a more relaxed return to the sevens.

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“Hong Kong is renowned as the best one on the series and it was great to play in it,” Isaacs said.

“I’m sure I’ll be playing with the footy club in the 10’s, but sevens wise I’ll be out supporting the Wales boys.”

Things are progressing nicely for Isaacs on the work front as he looks to put his civil engineering degree to use.

“I came out here looking to start the transition from professional rugby into working life and the club have been great in supporting me,” he said. “I’ve always had an interest in construction, housing and property. For a month now I’ve been working with IA Property.”

Isaacs brings a wealth of experience to HKFC, having most recently played for the Cardiff Blues in the Pro 12 and also boasting a stint at Aviva Premiership side Gloucester.

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The affable 29-year-old has fitted into his new side with ease and was pleased to see them produce their best performance of the season in the win over the Tigers.

“We got a win two weeks ago against Kowloon and we really knew we had to back that up with a victory today,” he said.

“Fair play to the boys, they really dug in well and a big shout out to Max Page who slotted a lot of kicks today.”

HKFC pulled away in the second half on the back of some lethal kicking from Page and two tries to captain Mitch Andrews, while Salom Yiu Kam-shing scored the only try for Tigers.

Elsewhere, Societe Generale Valley suffered their first loss of the season, going down 15-10 to nemesis Herbert Smith Freehills HKCC, and Bloomberg Hong Kong Scottish coasted home 28-13 over Kowloon.