Irrepressible Cross joins the fans

INJURED Hongkong international Gary Cross is hoping to cheer on his Valley teammates in their Bell's Knockout Cup semi-final against Club today . . . only 48 hours after going under the surgeon's knife.

Cross, 26, was yesterday in a cheerful mood at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, having undergone ligament surgery on his right knee on Thursday.

He underwent physiotherapy yesterday afternoon and is confident he can be released from hospital to be at Sports Road, where Valley are out to avenge last year's final defeat to Club.

But his absence from the territory's World Cup Sevens campaign still rankles.

Under coach George Simpkin, Hongkong have begun their build up for the World Cup in Scotland in April.

''It is the first time that I have missed national training sessions in four years,'' he said. ''I can forget about playing rugby for the next few months.

''My main aim now is to make sure the summer touch rugby season gets off the ground,'' said Cross, who helps organise an annual touch rugby competition and who is expected to be out of competitive rugby for up to six months.

Valley can go into the match against the league champions with confidence, having beaten Club at Sports Road in a league match.

In the other semi-final, First Division runners-up Kowloon take on a British Forces side.