Rees takes chance to blood HK youngsters in sevens squad

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 July, 2009, 12:00am

Hong Kong will take the out-of-the-blue opportunity to play at the World Games in Taiwan this month to develop their engine room, with head coach Dai Rees naming a number of new forwards in a 16-man training squad yesterday.

While 15s flanker Kwok Ka-chun will make a welcome return to sevens after missing most of the past two seasons due to becoming a fireman, it will be the first opportunity for Simon Leung and Mark Komar to make an impression. 'Looking ahead, it is important we look to develop more forwards into our sevens teams,' said Rees, who has taken over as head coach from Rodney McIntosh, now his assistant.

'A successful team will always have a combination of game controllers, ball winners and finishers.'

Leung, who also plays in the back row for the 15s squad, will be keen to stake a permanent spot in the sevens team. But it will be the first chance for Valley's Komar to make an impression, while another young forward hoping to press his claims will be DeA Tigers' Ben Ho.

'We will also be giving a number of others the chance to launch their international sevens careers. Everyone in this squad is eligible for the Asian Games [in Guangzhou next year],' said Rees. Half of the squad are newcomers to sevens, including So Hok-ken, Yiu Kam-shing, Adam Raby, Charles Cheung and Gavin Hadley. However, the core of the team will include regulars such as Rowan Varty, Keith Robertson and Jeff Wong.

'This tournament was sprung on us and we don't have a lot of time to prepare,' Rees said. 'But this is a perfect opportunity to give youngsters a chance, with the East Asian Games in December in mind.'

The two-day sevens competition at the World Games in Kaohsiung will be played on July 25 and 26.