All-new Hong Kong Warriors aim to represent on debut tour of Philippines
HKRU sends junior and senior squads to Manila as it kicks off new development programme
Two new representative 15s sides will make their international bows this week on a tour of the Philippines, the Hong Kong Rugby Union said Wednesday.
The Hong Kong Warriors seniors and juniors will take on teams from the Philippines Rugby Football Union’s national development programme in two matches each on Wednesday and Saturday (16 and 19 December).
“The Hong Kong Warriors are a representative squad with development the key aspect,” said Dai Rees, general manager of rugby performance at the HKRU.
“The primary objective is to show local players the opportunities available through rugby and to help develop their skills to advance them further along Hong Kong’s rugby ladder with the ultimate goal of feeding our domestic Premiership clubs.”
The Warriors set-up aims to bridge the performance gaps that exist between domestic rugby’s National and Championship leagues and the Premiership-A and top-flight Premiership level.
The senior squad have been picked primarily from teams competing below the HKRU Premiership with a sprinkling of players who have top-flight experience, such as Eric Kwok Pak-nga (USRC Tigers and the Hong Kong U20s), Tony Wong Ho-yeung and Terry Tsang Kai-cheuk (both Valley), and Ray Li Tsz-hin (Kowloon).
The main purpose of the junior squad, who compete at U19s age-grade level, is to identify talent for Hong Kong’s U20s set-up.Both squads have engaged in six-month development programmes led by HKRU coaching staff and this week’s tour to the Philippines will be followed by other international engagements, though the two will likely tour separately in future.
Both squads of 25-players each have been preparing intensively for the tour under head coaches Fan Shun-kei (seniors) and “Sailo” Lai Yiu-pang (juniors), while HKRU development rugby manager Fung Kai-hang has been put in charge of managing the Warriors programme.
“We are heading a bit into the unknown on this tour,” said Rees.
“But as our development structure is strong and the players have been engaged in a substantial preparation phase, we’d like to come back with a couple of victories,” he added.
Hong Kong Warriors (seniors)
Au Yuen-fong (CWB), Ho Yiu-nam (TSW Pandas), Cheung Wang-piu (Kowloon), Shum Shu-wa (TSW), Terry Tsang Kai-cheuk (Valley), Dave Wong Tai-yik (Kowloon), Cheung Ku-ngai (TSW), Fu Po-keung (TSW), Yip Man-kuen (TSW), Elton Cheung Hon-tung (HKCC), Kong Sai-man (USRC Tigers), Wong Ka-wai (City), Tony Wong Ho-yeung (Valley), Yik Ho-yin (HK Scottish), Tony Chen Po-yuan (Tigers), Ray Li Tsz-hin (Kowloon), Chen Ho-lam (Tigers), So Hok-ken (City), Chiu Kai-tung (Kowloon), Eric Kwok Pak-nga (Tigers), Tsang Pak-ngai (Tigers), Michael Fung King-ting (CWB), Hung Chak-kwan (City), Yip Tsz-ho (Valley), Mo Chun-kit (Tigers)
Hong Kong Warriors (juniors)
Cheung Tak-lung (Twister), Lai Chun-hin (TSW Pandas), Chau Siu-fung (Operation Breakthrough), Cheng King-ho (TSW), Tang Man-chun (HKFC), Wong Shun-ming (Operation Breakthrough), Chan Wang-tat (Operation Breakthrough), Law Chun-yuen (East Kowloon), Chan Hiu-fung (Police), Brian Leung Yik-hong (Tigers), John Mak Chung-kan (TSW), Yuen Kwok-fung (TSW), Au Yeung Man-ho (Twister), Chan Kwun-ho (Tigers), Cheung Ka-shun (TSW), Yuen Kwok-hing (HKFC), Fok Man-lok (TSW), So Chi-fung (TSW), Cheung Ka-lok (East Kowloon), Chong Shun-hong (Operation Breakthrough), Fong Kit-fung (TSW), Chan Kai-tong (Operation Breakthrough), Chung Ka-hin (Operation Breakthrough), Chan Wing-chung (TSW), Yip Yun-hung (TSW)
Tour fixtures – Manila, Philippines
- 13:00 – Philippines U19s 53-0 Hong Kong Warriors (juniors)
- 15:30 – Philippines Development 17-5 Hong Kong Warriors (seniors)
- 13:00 – Philippines U19s 49-0 Hong Kong Warriors (juniors)
- 15:00 – Philippines Development 0-13 Hong Kong Warriors (seniors)