Hugo Chui credits new Valley teammates with helping take his game to ‘another level’ in Hong Kong Premiership
The in-form winger is looking to make an impact in his side’s clash with HKCC on Saturday, while Football Club take on Tigers and Kowloon and Scottish lock horns
He’s impressed on the wing in his first season at Societe Generale Valley and Hugo Chui Ho-ching says his star-studded band of teammates have helped take him to “another level”.
A long-time fixture in Hong Kong’s national age grade programmes, 21-year-old Chui is now focussing on his study after graduating from the under-20 programme.
He switched from Natixis HKFC to Valley ahead of this season and has become a key cog in a backline that will attempt to pick apart Herbert Smith Freehills HKCC in the Old Mutual International Men’s Premiership on Saturday.
“We obviously have a lot of experience in the team, players from the Hong Kong performance squad and even players from other countries who used to play Super Rugby and stuff like that,” Chui said.
“They can actually bring me to another level because they have a leading role and I get used to playing with them. I think I can perform better with them leading me and, of course, at the same time I can learn how to be a leader as well.”
Chui has loved every minute of his time at a club he says is different from others in Hong Kong, with coach Andrew Kelly praising his impact in Valley’s win over Kowloon on the weekend.
“Inside of rugby and outside of rugby I like everything about Valley, the atmosphere is great,” he said.
Chui last represented Hong Kong at age group level at the World Rugby U20 Trophy in Zimbabwe last year and still harbours hopes of playing international rugby at senior level, but only once he’s finished his global supply chain management degree at PolyU.
“I played age grade rugby for quite a long time and when I first started rugby my dream was to play for Hong Kong, so I would like to achieve that goal one day,” he said.
“I would like to finish my study as soon as possible and see what happens after. I actually got asked to train with the Cup of Nations squad [before November’s tournament], it’s not that I’m in the squad but playing against them so they can do defence or attack stuff.
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“I did that for a week, the intensity is obviously a lot higher than club rugby because they do everything 100 per cent.”
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Chui was quick to recommend rugby to other locals, suggesting that local players’ speed and skills fit well alongside the more brutal side of the game.
“A lot of young players or their parents think that rugby is quite a physical sport and they will get injured pretty easily,” he said.
“I think it’s not only about physicality, me as a local Chinese player I’m not as big as the other players but I think we can use our speed and skills.”
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Saturday’s other matches see HKFC host the Borrelli Walsh USRC Tigers and Kowloon tackle Bloomberg HK Scottish.
In the KPMG Women’s Premiership, CWB Phoenix play Tai Po and Kowloon lock horns with City Sparkle in the development league, while Valley take on HKFC and Gai Wu and Tigers face off in the top tier.