Women’s rugby stars ready for battle
Schoolgirl Lindsay Varty - younger sister of men's national team member Rowan Varty - has been selected to represent the SAR at this week's Cable and Wireless Hong Kong Women's Rugby Sevens.
The competition, now in its ninth year, will be held on Friday and Saturday at the Hong Kong Football Club.
Lindsay, 17, is the youngest to make the final squad of 10 players who have been drawn to play 2005 Asian Women's Sevens champions Kazakhstan and the Netherlands in Pool D on day one.
With the inclusion of King George V School student Lindsay, the average age of the Hong Kong squad is just 21. A record seven out of the 10 players are Chinese.
Defending champions Aotearoa Maori from New Zealand, last year's losing Cup finalists Australia, the United States, Japan, China, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and debutants Guam are also taking part in the tournament.
New Zealand, Australia, US and Kazakhstan are the seeded teams, based on their past results here and in recent international women's sevens competitions.
New Zealand will be returning to defend their perfect record as champions for the past eight years. They are in Pool A, along with China and Japan.
Although Kazakhstan and the Netherlands will field bigger players, Hong Kong head coach Karen 'Lola' Williams is confident her squad can compete with their rivals' physical game.
'We must play with speed, use the ball [pass it], and play less contact,' said Williams, speaking at the Women's Rugby Day at Happy Valley last Saturday when the squad was announced.
'The players were selected on skills and merit. They'll be fine.'
The Cup final of the Women's Rugby Sevens will be played at 2.54pm on Saturday at the Hong Kong Stadium, as part of the Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens.
The women's tournament is supported by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union, and endorsed by the Asian Rugby Football Union and the International Rugby Board.
Hong Kong squad
Emma Holland (captain), Cookie Tse Man-sze, Gabriel Lee Wing-yi, Royce Chan Leong-sze, Florence Lin Wai-yin, Emmy Chan Hoi-ping, Lindsay Varty, Hoty Chan Ho-ting, Ng Ka-wing, Zein Williams.