Asian Five Nations

Hong Kong to miss giant lock forward Dan Watson in final Asian Five Nations outing

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 March, 2014, 3:35pm

Hong Kong will miss giant lock forward Dan Watson and things might not be just so "elementary" when they come up against South Korea in their final outing in the HSBC Asian Five Nations Top Five competition in Ansan on Saturday.

Watson's fictitious namesake helped Sherlock Holmes solve many a mystery, but the massive second-rower has been lost to local rugby with his job taking him to the United States.

"He is a huge loss," said Hong Kong coach Leigh Jones. "His absence will leave a hole in the front five and we sorely need big men like him in this department."

He is a huge loss. His absence will leave a hole in the front five and we sorely need big men like him in this department
Hong Kong coach Leigh Jones

The Hong Kong Football Club forward was part of the Hong Kong team who won the inaugural Cup of Nations title two years ago. Watson has also contributed hugely to Hong Kong being the only team in Asia, other than perennial champions Japan, to stay in the Top Five competition since it began 2008.

His ball-winning touch will be badly missed against the Koreans who will field a set of forwards most of whom play in Japan's Top League as Hong Kong try to fill the No2 spot.

Last year, South Korea broke a spirited Hong Kong at Sports Road, winning 21-19 thanks to a last-gasp try. That result led to Hong Kong losing their number two spot - won in 2011 - to the Koreans.

"It will be tough playing in their backyard. But our intention this season has been to not only retain our place in the Top Five but to also try and win back the runner-up spot," Jones said.

Hong Kong will make three changes to the starting line-up that featured in the 59-20 victory over the Philippines a fortnight ago in Manila. Two of these will be in the front row with hooker Alex Harris and tighthead prop Steve Nolan coming in. The other change will be at flyhalf with Niall Rowark getting the nod ahead of Mike Glancy.