Classic Wallabies team to feature at Hong Kong Tens with former Australia test stars in selection mix
Star-studded squad will also include Sevens and Under-20s players for April’s 10-a-side event
A Classic Wallabies squad featuring former test stars, Australia Sevens players and Under-20s will make their tournament debut at the HKFC Tens.
The 10-a-side curtain raiser to the Hong Kong Sevens will take place at the Hong Kong Football Club over April 5-6.
Former Wallaby Stephen Hoiles, who made his test debut under Eddie Jones, will be among the squad coached by ex-Australia second row Justin Harrison.
“We know it’s a really high standard of rugby at the GFI HKFC Tens so we’ve got some great Wallabies coming over and we’re recruiting some Sevens players and Under-20s to help us compete,” said Hoiles, who made 16 appearances for Australia.
“We’re not coming over just to make up the numbers.”
Legendary lock Nathan Sharpe, who won 116 caps between 2002 and 2012, is one of the former Wallabies being considered for the tournament, along with wingers Lote Tuqiri and Wendell Sailor.
Towering forward Radike Samo – a 10s champion with the Asia Pacific Dragons in 2014 – could also feature but has not been confirmed.
“I was actually asked to play in the 10s last year and was over in Hong Kong for the Sevens, so it’ll be my second time there,” said former Brumbies captain Hoiles, who finished his Super Rugby career with the Waratahs in 2014.
“We should have a strong squad.”
The Classic Wallabies will join at least 14 teams including defending champions Penguin International, 2016 runners-up Samurai International, three-time champions Hogan Lovells Asia Pacific Dragons and two-time finalists Tradition YCAC.
A-Trade Overseas Old Boys, Taikoo Place Scottish Exiles, Projecx Waterboys, King’s College at UQ, Kir Club Pyrenees, UBB Gavekal, Irish Vikings, GFI East Africans, Shanghai RFC and hosts Natixis HKFC also return.
The final team in the 16-team tournament, which was inaugurated in 1986, is yet to be confirmed.