‘Frenchie’ Amelie Seure juggling cheese, bread and rugby as she prepares for seventh Sevens

The 33-year-old hails the fabric of the Hong Kong squad as they chase a spot on the Women’s Sevens World Series in the qualifying competition at So Kon Po

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 April, 2017, 5:58pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 April, 2017, 10:45pm

When she’s not hunting for the city’s best baguette, Amelie Seure is doing her bit to add to the undeniably strong fabric of the Hong Kong women’s sevens team.

While Hong Kong are still building on the field and will have their hands full at the HSBC Women’s Sevens World Series qualifier that starts at So Kon Po on Thursday, Seure cannot speak highly enough of the bonds the group has formed.

“I have learned a lot from them in terms of being together and having each other’s back, whether in real life or on the pitch,” Seure said.

“It’s great to have so many different cultures, it’s really cool. The local Chinese girls really have my back on all the local things that you need to handle, like when I had a scratch on my car, how to find the right repairer.”

Seure is lining up for her seventh Hong Kong Sevens event after first coming to Hong Kong as a 21-year-old in 2005 on an exchange.

“I was meant to be here for four months and the next minute it’s 12 years, it all goes so fast and part of it is picking up rugby on the way,” said Seure, now 33.

“Back then I was a handball player, so I played handball in Hong Kong for a little bit but it wasn’t as challenging and as developed as back in Europe so I wanted a new challenge.

“Rugby has given me so many opportunities and they are a great bunch of girls whether at club level or national level.”

From Grenoble, Seure is known as Frenchie among her Hong Kong teammates and admits that after 12 years she is well versed in finding the best of her homeland’s cuisine.

“I still eat cheese and bread quite often, the girls make fun of it actually,” Seure said. “It’s great that Hong Kong is so international because you can actually find almost everything.”

Hong Kong tackle Argentina, Kenya and Belgium in day-one pool play, with the carrot of a berth on the World Series adding to the spice of the tournament.

“For us it is all about consistency so hopefully we manage to play consistently through the tournament,” Seure said. “That [it’s the World Series qualifier] makes it even more interesting and even more motivating to really focus.”

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Hong Kong coach Anna Richards has fine tuned her side with recent trips to New Zealand and Japan, with training games against New Zealand development and the hosts in Japan a few weeks ago.

Richards says the preparation has been the best in her time despite not having any genuine tournaments.

“We would have liked to have some tournaments but there is nothing decent for us to go to,” Richards said.

“The boys went down to Fiji and also they had Borneo but unfortunately we didn’t have the same tournaments available to us. We were lucky enough to go up to Japan and play New Zealand development and they are a very good side.”

Hong Kong have made the semi-finals in the past two years in Hong Kong and have long had the goal of playing in Hong Kong Stadium.

In previous years it has only been the final held in the main stadium however this year the semi-finals will be as well, although Richards knows the event will be a different prospect this time around.

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“I think it was a good draw but both Argentina and Kenya, who we have previously played, have had a lot of experience now, they were both at the Olympics and they have been on the World Series,” she said.

“I think there will be a bit of pressure because it is a World Series qualifier. The girls were disappointed when they didn’t make the stadium last year so that is a big carrot for them.

“Hopefully they can do one better this year and make the stadium, but we have just got to look at it from game one and not get ahead of ourselves.”

Hong Kong squad: Christy Cheng Ka-chi (c), Natasha Olson-Thorne, Candy Cheng Tsz-ting, Chong Ka-yan, Adrienne Garvey, Ivy Kwong Sau-yan, Nam Ka-man, Aggie Poon Pak-yan, Amelie Seure, Sham Wai-sum, Colleen Tjosvold, Yuen Lok-yee