Hong Kong’s Chris Maize and Eric Kwok turn to invitational side Samurai for valuable experience

Youngsters set to compete in the Maidenhead and Manchester tournaments as part of their preparation for the Asia Rugby Sevens Series

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 June, 2017, 7:38pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 June, 2017, 8:05pm

Hong Kong sevens players Chris Maize and Eric Kwok Pak-nga will play for Samurai in the UK Sevens Invitational Series in a bid to gain valuable match experience ahead of the Asian series starting in August.

The pair will play for Samurai in the Maidenhead and Manchester Sevens tournaments over the next two weekends thanks to a connection with the invitational side through Hong Kong coach Paul John.

“Full credit to them, Eric and Chris approached me looking for opportunities to get some experience during the summer as they both felt that they needed to play more tournaments,” said John, who coached Samurai at several tournaments in 2016.

“The best environment for them to do this was with Samurai. During my time coaching Wales, we established a strong relationship with Samurai and frequently used their teams to put players in the Samurai set-up to gain valuable tournament experience.”

The opportunity will be particularly useful for Kwok, who continues to jostle for a regular spot in the Hong Kong team.

The tournaments will further refine Kwok’s preparations for the upcoming Asia Rugby Sevens Series.

“This is a great opportunity for me to learn, to get more game time and to test myself,” Kwok said. “I haven’t played in a proper tournament for a while so I really need this opportunity to help benchmark my standard.

“I’m really looking forward to it as I understand that there are a lot of [English] Premiership players involved.

“Playing against guys of that quality will help me show my capabilities and allow me to see how I respond to more physical, high intensity rugby.”

Samurai are one of the most well known international invitational sides and have made frequent appearances in the Hong Kong Football Club Tens.

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“We are extremely grateful that Samurai are giving two of our high-potential players an opportunity to play in these high quality tournaments,” John said.

“I hope that both players really benefit from this excellent opportunity and I expect them to do themselves and Hong Kong proud.”