Tigers youngster Jason Jeyam feeling no pressure despite lavish praise from Hong Kong coach Leigh Jones
The 22-year-old scrum half is crucial to his side’s chances against Football Club in the HKRU Premiership on Saturday
Despite being described by Hong Kong coach Leigh Jones as “probably as good a scrum half as I have worked with”, Jason Jeyam says he feels no pressure as he goes about building his rugby career.
The 22-year-old made his Hong Kong debut in the recent Cup of Nations and says the encouragement of Jones helped him play his natural game.
“He is quite a high-pressure coach but in certain situations he has been quite lenient with how I play and he’s very encouraging,” Jeyam said.
“He literally just said have a go, I want you to speed up the game.”
Born and raised here, like so many young rugby players Jeyam studied abroad before returning to Hong Kong on graduating from Gloucester’s Hartpury College in June.
Jeyam’s sevens debut also came this year – in the Asia Rugby Sevens Series – and after years of gracing Hong Kong Stadium during sevens weekend as a junior, he now has set his sights set on the real thing.
“Right now I’m involved in the sevens and my next focus is trying to get into the squad for the Hong Kong Sevens,” he said.
The creative speedster has formed a dangerous combination with national teammate Cado Lee Ka-to at Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers in the Hong Kong Premiership, with their rotations at No 9 a real positive for the bottom-placed side.
Jeyam says the pair get along well and there is “healthy competition” between them, with coach Craig Stewart utilising his star combination based on the opposition.
“We play together in sevens but when it comes to 15s we’re in the same position so obviously we can’t play together,” he said.
“It’s basically a rotation and it’s healthy competition.”
This weekend, Tigers face a Natixis HKFC side who are also languishing near the foot of the ladder – albeit having played one game less – and a win will be enough to see them move above their opponents.
Jeyam feels Tigers showed positive signs in last week’s five-point loss to Societe Generale Valley and is confident they can build on that effort come Saturday.
“After the performance against Valley last week, that’s how we should have been playing for the earlier part of the season so hopefully we can continue that and hopefully come away with the win,” he said.
Elsewhere, Valley take on Herbert Smith Freehills HKCC and Kowloon face league leaders Bloomberg HK Scottish in a match ’Loon coach James Scaysbrook knows will be tough as his side look to make it four wins on the trot.
“They have been playing really well of late and have really added to their game from this time last year,” Scaysbrook said.
“We’re looking for as many positive actions in our game as possible and trying to knit them together, the more series of positive actions, whether its attack or defence, that you put back-to-back, they’re the things that help you get the end result.”