I have finally arrived in Hong Kong! Having narrowly survived packing, giving away everything that didn’t fit into my two bags and two months of goodbyes – and goodbye parties – it is a relief to arrive here and get on with the job. My first day at work was last Monday and it proved to be a big day with orientation at the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI), training with the girls and then evening training at King’s Park with the full squad. Honestly, I’m not used to 12-hour days! I have had skills sessions with the girls and a couple of training spells with the full squad now, and the girls have impressed me with their willingness to learn and to work hard. With the backing of the HKSI, we currently have 12 full-time girls and five part-time girls. In addition, we have two schoolgirls training with the squad at King’s Park and a number of girls who are returning from overseas study who have shown great interest. Those girls on full-time contracts are training four days a week or more, while the part-time girls join in when their work or study allows during the day, and they attend the two night training sessions every week. The girls have been full-time at the HKSI since last August and I have been told that the improvements they have made physically and skill-wise have been significant. The facilities at the HKSI are second to none – a rugby pitch, medical facilities, top-of-the-line gym facilities and a pool. The girls have the option of staying at the institute if they want to and all athletes are provided meals on site. The HKSI is a hive of building activity with construction happening right beside the pitch we train on. Our new offices are going to be in the renovated building and although the noise can be slightly distracting, it will be great to get settled in there when it is completed. In the near term, both the men’s and women’s squads are heading to Darwin to play in the world’s “hottest sevens tournament” on 25-26 January. Over the next two weeks leading up to this tournament, I want to familiarise myself with the team and the girls as individuals, and get them back into the swing of things after their Christmas break. These two weeks also give me and the rest of the new coaching staff a chance to talk to the girls about our coaching philosophies and what we expect from the girls on and off the pitch. The week in Darwin leading into this tournament will be used by both squads as a training camp – which will be a wonderful opportunity to not only work on playing sevens rugby, but also help to pull the teams closer together. Team building excercises are planned, although swimming with salt water crocodiles will not be one of them! Game time is important for the team and this tournament will be the start of the run-up to the Hong Kong Sevens tournament and a good indicator as to how the girls are going. There are eight women’s teams entered into the Darwin tournament, including quality sides like The Tribe (girls from the extended Australian national squad) and Sydney University. Meanwhile, back in Hong Kong this week I now have my temporary ID card and I am trying to decide which bank and which phone company to go with … so many decisions! But my biggest task is to find somewhere to live. I enjoyed the salubrious surroundings of the Delta Hotel in Chung King Mansions for my first four days here and now I am staying with a friend in Repulse Bay. I am definitely seeing all that Hong Kong has to offer. I am house trained, tidy and can sort of cook, so if you know anyone needing a flat mate, let me know!