HONG KONG rugby might have won a player in the short term, but it lost a good coach last week. Gary Cross has stepped down from his position as coach of the territory's developing players squad after having been forced to choose between being a player or a coach. He was handed an ultimatum by the Union's director of coaching Bryan Hain who had written a letter asking him to make his choice. 'I thought I could do both,' said a disappointed Cross. But obviously the Union feels that one person can't do two jobs - of being a national player and at the same time coaching Hong Kong's second tier squad. So Cross had no option but to stick to playing as he has made it his goal to play at next year's Hong Kong Sevens. The former national hooker and sevens player was picked by George Simpkin for the 41-strong Hong Kong squad named last week to prepare for the two internationals against South Korea in February, the proposed Pan Pacific Series and also the Hong Kong Sevens. Cross says that if he is picked to play for Hong Kong at the Sevens, it will be his last hurrah. 'After the Sevens I'm finished. I don't think I will be playing rugby after that . . . in sevens or 15s,' revealed Cross, who has served Hong Kong well over the past few years in both versions of the game. 'I don't think I will be gunning for a place for the World Cup Sevens or even the 15s team. To play 15s today, you almost need to be training full time. Rugby doesn't pay the rent and I just can't afford to concentrate on playing.' Players come and go. That is part and parcel of the game. More so in Hong Kong where the transient nature of this society amplifies it greater. In this context, it is worrying that Cross has decided to totally sever his links with the game. According to the 'Pink Panther', he will also give up coaching Police next season as he doesn't want to coach in an 'environment of politics'. Hong Kong rugby has lost a good coach. It is sad that Cross has decided to make a clean break soon. We had a man who always gave 200 per cent in whatever task he undertook. It is a shame that rugby could not accommodate him. Let's hope it is not time for Cross to add another tattoo to his colourful selection. The former soldier, used to have a tattoo drawn on his body (including the Pink Panther on his leg) as a souvenir to remember every country he served in as a member of Her Majesty's Forces. Who knows with time passing by, he may be persuaded to get involved in coaching once again. HONG Kong's game plan for the near future was made official by national coach Simpkin last week. It will be based on quick rucking, a minimum of contact situations, and as much open play as possible. All of this at a fast pace. Simpkin made it clear that this was the style he would like to see Hong Kong play in the future, especially if the Pan Pacific Series gets off the ground. It is obvious that against the bigger forwards from Argentina, Western Samoa, Canada etc, Hong Kong would lose ground if they get too involved at close quarters. Optimistically, we might survive 40 minutes of rugby before the legs give out. So everything will have to be done at pace. Mobility will be the key word with skills at 100 miles per hour. In this context, Hong Kong are fortunate to have got Moape Ravuvu in the backline and in midfield. The tiny Fijian will add a fresh dimension to the backs. In the forwards, my 'dream' pack will comprise a back row of Duane Davis (number eight), Rick Shuttleworth and John Dingley (flankers), Roger Patterson and Stuart Krohn (locks) and a front row of Neil Alton, Dave Lewis/Joe McLaddery as props and Alan Clark at hooker. This pack would be extremely mobile. New faces who can come into contention are Mike Howe, a former Bay of Plenty hooker who turns out for Aberdeen and Luke Duffy, Football Club's new lock formerly of Sydney University.