HKRU Premiership: chance meeting back home lands New Zealander Davidson in Valley squad
New Zealander Scott Davidson loving work and play in Hong Kong
Kiwi Scott Davidson has a bit of cheeky back and forth going on with his boss right now.
The New Zealander, who plays full back for Societe Generale Valley, is also a physical education teacher at King George V School in Kowloon. His boss is principal Mark Blackshaw, who hails from the Gold Coast and is a rabid rugby fan. Blackshaw said he is just happy to have a Kiwi on his roster and not pounding his national squad out on the field.
“For me personally, as an Australian, it is great to be finally on the same team as a New Zealander when it comes to rugby.”
Davidson, who moved to Hong Kong for this school year, said the two have already engaged in some healthy banter about their national squads. The All Blacks have had the Wallabies number for years – Australia have only beaten New Zealand twice since 2015.
“It’s all in good fun,” he said. “He gives it to me and I give it back a little bit, it’s been great so far.”
So how did the 31-year-old, who helped his team to a 38-22 win over Herbert Smith HKU Sandy Bay during the second week of action in the men’s rugby premiership, end up with Valley so late in his career?
It was at a wedding three years ago in Christchurch that Davidson bumped into one of his old flatmates from Otago University, former Valley player and fellow Kiwi Kieran Coll, who was working and playing in Hong Kong at the time. Davidson said Coll sold him on Hong Kong as an overall lifestyle destination, and as a potential rugby landing spot to potentially prolong his career.
“So I started looking into it and (Coll) put me in touch with a couple of the guys at Valley. And so the more (my wife and I) started looking into it, the more we saw it as a place with good rugby culture where I could continue playing and coaching.”
Davison, who is living in Happy Valley, has already set up a rugby academy at KGV, and is coaching the school’s A grade team. Davidson had been teaching previously in Christchurch at his old high school, and said he and his wife were looking for a “bit of a challenge.” He said they were worried Hong Kong would turn out to be “a concrete jungle,” but were pleasantly surprised by the amount of parkland and beaches upon arrival.
One thing the New Zealander brought over with him is an exceptional foot and remarkable kicking skills. He dazzled the crowd in the second week of action against Sandy Bay with long, precision kicks, giving his team exceptional territory on numerous occasions. He said he has always had a good boot, and it has been a big part of his game since childhood back in his homeland.
“I grew up on a farm outside Christchurch, and that is just the way you were raised as a Kiwi, with a ball in your hand and out in wide open spaces kicking a ball all day.”
Davidson signed a two-year contract with KGV, and already thinks he may stay longer.
“A lot of people say you do two years here, and then all of a sudden it’s three or four or then its 10 years down the road. So we’re pretty open-minded about it.”
Davidson added he has been thoroughly impressed with the level in the premiership so far.
“The physicality and the skill level are on par as to back in New Zealand; it’s a very high level here. And having played in Christchurch for the past six years it’s kind of refreshing to come into a new rugby mindset and culture.”
In the other early game during Saturday’s action Bloomberg HK Scottish trounced Kerry Hotel Kowloon Rugby 59-14, scoring eight tries and were led by fly-half Gregor McNeish, who had four successful conversion along with two penalty kicks. The match, held at SKM, was a one-sided affair from the get-go as Scottish were up 37-0 at half time.
Scottish got tries from a plethora of players including George Fleming, Andrew Henderson, Sean Taylor and Jack Wardle. Both Conor Hartley and Ben Cullen had two tries.
In the final match of the day, Natixis HKFC beat the Borelli Walsh USRC Tigers 15-12.