Preparing Hong Kong's squad for the 2003 World Cup qualifying rounds could be a frustrating exercise, new coach Chris Roden said yesterday. 'I have a certain game plan in mind which will be based on the New Zealand style of play. I know Hong Kong may not have the depth in players and it will be frustrating to find out that certain players might not be eligible to play for Hong Kong,' he said. Welcome to Hong Kong, Chris. The age-old problem that previous coaches have faced - adhering to the International Rugby Board's three-year eligibility ruling - has been compounded by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union's move to push local players into the national squads. Roden, from Nelson Bay in New Zealand, started last Monday in his new job as head coach for both the 15-a-side and seven-a-side squads. He will have to take into account both these factors in his build-up to the first round of matches against Thailand and the Arabian Gulf next April. Last season, the HKRFU introduced a selection system whereby coaches have to meet certain 'targets'. The 2001-02 season's target for the SAR XV's side is for the inclusion of eight local players in a 22-man squad. Roden will have to quickly re-evaluate his plans to play Kiwi-style rugby if he has to adhere to a squad with more than one-third of the places filled by local players. 'I realise I might have to adjust my plan, taking into account the limitations we have. We will have to do the best we can,' Roden said. It is assumed the HKRFU has briefed Roden on its objective of fast-tracking the game's development among locals. Roden, 40, has already met a large number of the 36-strong training squad chosen for a two-game tour to Sri Lanka next month. 'We had a training camp in Sha Tin in early October,' said Roden, who was in town then to finalise his nine-month contract. 'The main focus will be on 15s and my main goal will be to bring about an improvement in play from the last couple of years. I hope to bring in new enthusiasm.' Local officials released former coach Phil Campbell at the end of last season's triangular competition and decided to look overseas for someone who could infuse fresh ideas. Campbell, a former Hong Kong centre, had been in charge for four seasons. Roden had a brief playing career at flyhalf and fullback for Nelson Bay before retiring at 23 due to injury. 'The last 17 years have been spent coaching,' he said. 'The past three years I have coached Nelson Bay in the Second Division National Championship. We won the title in 1999.' He also coached the Zambian national team in 1990 and had two seasons coaching Italian club side Padova. 'I have not had a lot of exposure to Asian rugby. But I used to watch Hong Kong on TV when they played in the Pac Rim tournament,' said Roden, who is accompanied by his wife, Sharon, and three children. Roden will be assisted by Terry Hart in 15s and Craig Pain in sevens. 'The season will be split into three parts. Up to December and the games against Sri Lanka, it will be all 15s. After Christmas, the tight forwards will work separately while the focus will switch to sevens. And then after the Hong Kong Sevens it will be back to 15s and the World Cup qualifying campaign.' His first opportunity to see the entire training squad in action will be on November 28 when a Probables XV will take on a Possibles XV.