Rowan Varty says World Series spot key to training full time
Sevens captain Rowan Varty believes a majority of players in the Hong Kong squad will opt to go full time at the Hong Kong Sports Institute if they are successful in becoming a core team on the HSBC Sevens World Series.
"I think most, me included, will take this wonderful opportunity and become full-time players. But we will have to see what happens at the London Sevens first," Varty said.
Hong Kong will be among eight teams at the London Sevens on May 11-12 vying for three spots on the World Series next season. If successful, Hong Kong will play a minimum of nine tournaments around the world, including the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.
Varty said he would face a tough decision as he would have to put on hold a promising career as a lawyer.
"If we achieve our target in London, I can justify a decision to go full time as I'm really proud to play for, and captain, Hong Kong. But my employers have also been very good to me. It's going to be a tough decision," Varty said.
Others such as Jamie Hood, a teacher at South Island School, fireman Kowk Ka-chun and Eni Gesinde, who works for a recruiting company, will be in a similar situation. Anthony Haynes, Lee Jones and Ben Rimene, all in the fitness industry, could face the prospect of having to give up their day jobs if they opt to go full time.
Winger Salom Yiu Kam-shing (a coach for the HKRFU) and scrum-half Cado Lee Ka-to (university student) have stated they would become full time and it is understood the McQueen brothers, Tom and Alex, would follow suit, too.
"It will mean more income and support which will help me focus more on my training and less on worrying about how to make ends meet," Yiu said.
The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union head of performance, Dai Rees, said: "In the first year I would expect just a small core of senior players will choose to go full time.
"But I cannot say this for certain, until we know what happens in London."