Injury-hit Hong Kong call up Keith Robertson as cover
With the stakes sky-high, budding pilot Keith Robertson has been called up to join the Hong Kong squad for the London Sevens next week as cover for injured flyhalf Jamie Hood.
An SOS was sent out to Robertson, who is midway through a pilot-training course in Australia, after Hood hurt his left shoulder in training. Robertson, who last played for Hong Kong at the Japan Sevens more than a year ago, joined the squad last night after getting the green light from Cathay Pacific.
"We were desperate when we realised how bad the injury was to Jamie," said Hong Kong national coach Dai Rees.
"He sprung his AC joint in his left shoulder. He has a 50-50 chance of playing but we couldn't risk this considering the enormity and importance of the task facing us in London and that is why we approached Keith.
"He said he had just finished a key component of his training and that it was possible he could get some time off. We then put in a formal request to Cathay Pacific and they were willing to let Keith join the squad and we are very grateful for their help," Rees said
Hong Kong are bidding to win one of three berths available as a core team in next year's HSBC Sevens World Series. The London Sevens on May 11-12 at Twickenham will be the qualifying tournament with eight teams in the running.
"We are taking a 14-man squad to London. Apart from the problems at flyhalf, we also have a question mark surrounding Ant Haynes [forward] and we have brought in Tsang Hing-hung as cover for him.
"With all these issues, I will wait until the last minute before naming my final 12 after a fitness test," Rees said.
Hong Kong will be up against Russia, Tonga, Georgia, Zimbabwe and the three bottom-placed teams after this weekend's Glasgow Sevens, the penultimate leg in this season's world series.
The four teams in the relegation zone are Scotland, the United States, Spain and Portugal.