Sevens players in the heart of Grand Championship semi-final action
With 10 of the 15-strong national sevens squad in action in today's Grand Championship semi-finals, it's no wonder Hong Kong coach Dai Rees has his heart in his mouth.
"Everything is crossed, my fingers, my toes, everything, for almost everyone is in action and I hope they all come out safe and with no injuries," said Rees, with Hong Kong facing a critical juncture in their sevens programme over the next three months.
ONEworks' Valley and Leighton Asia HKCC (Hong Kong Cricket Club) each have four players in action, while Newedge Club have two. Football Club take on HKCC at Sports Road tonight, while Valley play Abacus Kowloon in the other semi at King's Park. "All four of our guys in the sevens team, including myself, will be playing," said HKCC skipper Simon Leung Ho-yam. "We are where we want to be, that is within a shout of winning some silverware."
Leung has called on his pack to deliver a first win over Football Club this season.
"We lost narrowly in both our games in the league and that was all down to silly mistakes. We will have to cut out the errors and be a bit more clinical," Leung said.
Leung, Anthony Haynes and Tom and Alex McQueen are part of the 15-strong sevens squad in training for next month's Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens and the crucial London Sevens in May, which is the qualifying tournament to attain core team status next year.
Defending champions Hong Kong Football Club have one player in the sevens roster, but flyhalf Jamie Hood will miss today's game with a groin strain.
Valley boast Salom Yiu Kam-shing, Lee Jones, Ben Rimene and Nick Hewson as their sevens stars. They play Kowloon, who field Cado Lee and Eni Gesinde.
Kowloon, who are attempting the double after winning the league title, have one more sevens player in forward Kwok Ka-chun, but he has mostly been unavailable this season owing to his work commitments as a fireman.
The remaining three sevens members come from DeA Tigers, who were knocked out last week. They are Rowan Varty, Tsang Hing-hung and Fan Shun-kei.