Women's Rugby World Cup 2017

Adrienne ‘Rocky’ Garvey looking to bring hard edge as Hong Kong face Wales in search of first Women’s Rugby World Cup points

Jo Hull’s side keen to be more attacking after failing to score in heavy opening defeats by Canada and New Zealand in Ireland

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 August, 2017, 9:52am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 August, 2017, 4:11am

They call her Rocky and Adrienne Garvey is looking to make her mark as she returns to the Hong Kong side for Thursday’s Women’s Rugby World Cup clash with Wales in Dublin.

After missing the loss against New Zealand because of a head knock suffered in the opening defeat by Canada, Garvey is looking to live up to her nickname for Jo Hull’s side against Wales.

“I just want to play hard, make my tackles and make my strong ball carries,” Garvey said. “I think we have shown steps every 10 minutes of every game and I think we are showing progress, I just really hope we can shown even more progress on Thursday.”

From England, 32-year-old Garvey has been playing for Hong Kong for three years and is the team’s vice captain.

She earned her nickname while studying at Loughborough University and will play a key role in the centres as tournament debutants Hong Kong chase their first Women’s Rugby World Cup points.

Watch: New Zealand 121-0 Hong Kong highlights

“My teammates couldn’t pronounce Adrienne very well and then one of them was like ‘oh, like the film Rocky’ and then I kept running into people a lot, so it just stuck,” she said. Adrianna “Adrian” Balboa, nee Pennino, is Rocky’s wife, played by Talia Shire, in the film.

“Wales are looking stronger than we have seen in the build-up, but I think they have got areas that we can exploit. They’ve got a strong, organised defence so we have been practising ways to get through that.”

Hong Kong feel full force of powerful New Zealand in 121-0 thrashing at Women’s Rugby World Cup

Hull is pleased to have her hard-edged leader back in a starting 15 that features few changes, with Chloe Mak Ho-yee replacing Jessica Ho Wai-on at scrum half.

“Rocky’s experienced, she brings that edge and she brings that toughness, and she brings it out in other players as well,” Hull said.

“We’ve brought Chloe back in at nine, she suits our game plan in terms of trying to play a quicker game.”

After losing 98-0 to Canada and 121-0 to New Zealand, Hong Kong coach Hull is hoping her side can be more effective in attack against Wales at UCD Bowl in Dublin.

Hong Kong feel full force of powerful New Zealand in 121-0 thrashing at Women’s Rugby World Cup

“It would be nice to get some points on the board, but to do that we have got to get our handling right, we’ve got to get our ball skills right and we have got to get our breakdown skills right,” Hull said.

“We want to see some attack against Wales. Obviously against New Zealand we were strangled in pretty much every area, so against Wales we are just trying to make sure when we have got the ball, we are executing.”

Wales, who are ranked 10th in the world, are also winless but fought hard in losing 44-12 to New Zealand and 15-0 to Canada.

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“This Welsh team have significantly improved over the last six months since the Six Nations,” Hull said.

“They’re very rugby smart and we know we are for another very, very tough day at the office.”

Watch: Canada 98-0 Hong Kong highlights