It’s been a long wait since we pulled down the shutters on last season, both in the domestic Premiership and after our historic draw against Japan(!), but the wait has been well worth it with the Rugby World Cup now at the business end, our own domestic competition back up and running and not forgetting Hong Kong’s international test series just a month away. We’ve yet to reach the finals and this year’s Rugby World Cup is already one to remember ... for the Japanese and English particularly, although clearly on opposite ends of the euphoria spectrum. The Brave Blossoms’ result against South Africa will be talked about for decades and for us here at the HKRU it felt even more special due to the influence on the team of “one of our own” in former Hong Kong coach Leigh Jones, who is the Japanese defence coach. We look forward to Leigh sharing his experiences with us as we attempt to create history ourselves over the next four years building up to Japan 2019 – the first Rugby World Cup to be held on Asian soil. WATCH: Hong Kong set sights on 2016 Olympics “The best-laid schemes” must be ringing in the ears of everyone at the RFU after another disastrous World Cup campaign. Selection debates, in-house fighting and Dr Dre have all seemingly played their part in England’s demise. Naturally, the vitriolic press are after the heads of the coaches with Stuart Lancaster at the top of the pile. In the cutthroat industry of global professional sport and with the dust firmly settling in England’s empty trophy cabinet, I’m guessing there will be no stay of execution. Wales and Ireland seem to be the flag bearers for the home nations and let’s not write off Scotland just yet either. If the Welsh can do a job on the Wallabies this weekend and Scotland stick to form and turn over Samoa, the lads north of the border will relish a quarter-final against Wales. We’ll have international rugby in Hong Kong next month and we won’t have to get up at 3am to watch it either We’ll have international rugby in Hong Kong next month and we won’t have to get up at 3am to watch it either. We’ll kick things off with the Olympic qualifiers on November 7 and 8 at Hong Kong Stadium, with high hopes as ever for booking the men’s place in Rio 2016 available to the tournament winner. The women will have a two-leg series in Hong Kong and Japan later in November. A week on from the Hong Kong qualifier, it will be the National 15s team’s turn, competing in the Hong Kong Cup of Nations as we host Zimbabwe, Portugal and Russia all at Hong Kong Football Club. For the 15s, these three tests mark the start of our journey to 2019 and will each pose very different threats. Our preparation has begun – both on and off the pitch – with players looking sharp in the early sessions. We get together again on October 14 with eight sessions to plan the downfall of our guests, a challenge that, as always, players and coaches will relish. For the players, early league form will be crucial as they fight for selection into the Cup of Nations squad. At the start of the Premiership competition last weekend there was a handful of players already putting their hands up. There are high expectations again for the domestic season with all squads adding to their player depth. With the first game of the young season giving us Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers’ long-awaited first league win in two seasons – over Natixis Hong Kong Football Club – followed by some tight encounters in the other Super Saturday match-ups, we have proof that this season – for the first time in a number of years – has the potential to be a six-horse race for both league and Grand Championship honours. That competition can only help us as we look to field our strongest 15 in the Cup of Nations. And, finally, a prediction for the RWC? Australia or Scotland.