Thank heavens God intervened when the draw for the Asian Dragons Inter City Series took place last week. Otherwise reigning champions Hong Kong Football Club and last year's runners-up Valley would have been pretty cheesed off. The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union did not seed the five local First Division teams who are vying for the two berths in the season-opening competition that features three teams from China and one from Taiwan. Instead, they put Football Club, Valley, DeA, Aberdeen and Kowloon in the hat and drew the names for the playoffs. Thank God, then, that Valley and Club were not drawn against each other in the first round. 'We are unhappy with the way the Union did the draw. Luckily we were not drawn against Valley in the first playoff match,' said Football Club captain Warren Warner. 'God plays a role in all of this,' said Allan Payne, HKRFU executive director. 'Some of the clubs were for it, but some were against the method of the draw out of a hat.' DeA received a bye for the first weekend of playoffs on September 22. Football Club will meet Kowloon while Valley will play Aberdeen. The winners of the Club v Kowloon game will meet DeA to decide one ticket to the ADIC Series. The losers of the September 22 games will play each other to decide who plays the winners of Valley v Aberdeen in the playoff for the remaining berth. Warner, who takes over from Adam Horler and will lead Club during the 2001-02 season, remained unhappy that the HKRFU left it to lady luck to settle the outcome of the draw. 'Surely having won the tournament last year, one would have expected some sort of benefit. This is a competition we want to play in as it is a major part of our season,' said the Club centre. 'Does the Union want its two strongest teams to represent Hong Kong in the competition, or does it want to give the other teams a go?' asked Warner. DeA, who are expected to meet Club, will surely have something to say about this. And this also presumes that Kowloon and Aberdeen are walkover opposition. It all boils down to an interesting start to the new season. The ADIC Series will commence on September 27 with the Chinese sides kicking off. The Hong Kong clubs' first matches will be on October 30. China will be represented by Shanghai Sports Institute, China Agricultural University and the PLA Sports Institute. Taiwan's Tao Yuan County are the newcomers to the competition and to accommodate them, the tournament had to duly change its name from the All China Intercity Series. Eight Hong Kong players featured in the losing side in a game to mark the 75th anniversary of the Japan Rugby Football Union in Tokyo last Friday. Jarrad Gallagher, Terry Brink, Mike Kerr, Brent Edwards, Chris Gordon, Ricky Cheuk, Carl Murray and Warner played alongside players from Australia, Fiji, South Korea and Taiwan in the Japanese President's XV, who lost 22-10 to the Japan national team.