What better way to find out about the Australian Rules football scene in Hong Kong than to meet two of the most dedicated local players - Paul 'The Falcon' Mallia, and Craig 'Bogan' Francis - at one of their favourite watering holes? Both men play for Hong Kong's only Aussie Rules team, the Hong Kong Dragons, and although they like to describe themselves as two of the region's most elite Australian sportsmen, the four pints of beer and the number of empty bottles of Victoria Bitter on their table may suggest otherwise. 'We do it for love, not money, mate,' Francis said, referring to playing footie, not drinking in the pub. 'But on a serious note, being a member of the Hong Kong Dragons has really made my time in Hong Kong so far fantastic. A lot of the good mates I've made and loads of the good times I've had have been as a result of being in the Dragons.' The Dragons were founded in 1991 and have become a major part of the lives of the 60 regular players and 250 not-so-regular players of the team, providing a social and competitive outlet for Australians and other nationalities to get together and share their love of the sport. They play intra-team matches, but the highlight of the Aussie Rules scene is when the team plays away games. 'By far the best times are when we go on tour,' said Mallia, an English teacher from Ballarat, Victoria. 'Almost every major city in Asia has an Aussie Rules team and we go to Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Bali and other places. It's all in the spirit of mateship, and being on the tour is really more important than the result. Although, I should say, mate, that we usually win.' Francis agreed: 'The tours are really what it's all about. I've been on about 15 tours now, and every one of them has a special place in my heart. Tours are when we have the best times and play the best football.' Aussie Rules is the most popular sport in Australia, but the team is by no means solely a domain for Australians, as members from Hong Kong, Canada, Ireland, Sweden and Britain are regular players. 'We hold a variety of social events throughout the year,' Mallia said, 'which can be big events such as beach parties for more than 200 people, and awards nights which are always great fun.' On top of this, the tours generally involve a night or two out on the town in the host city. 'Most of our members find out about us from our website, but a lot of them find out from the Australian Association,' Francis said. 'Someone at the Australian Association told me about the team and I was amazed that Hong Kong had a footie team. Now we have the opportunity to enjoy all the things that Hong Kong has to offer and have a little bit of home here as well.' Mallia said: 'Lots of people on the team arrived for the first time in Hong Kong without really knowing a lot of people. But when they joined the Dragons they quickly made a great circle of friends who were like-minded. We all like crossing over that white line and playing a combative sport and then going for a great night out.' Recent achievements include winning the Asian Championships last year in Bangkok, and winning the same tournament in Kuala Lumpur in 2004 and Hong Kong in 2003.