Hong Kong national rugby union team
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
|Union||Hong Kong Rugby Football Union|
|Coach(es)||Andy Hall (Interim)|
|Most caps||Dave Lewis|
|Top scorer||Ashley Billington|
|Japan 24 - 22 Hong Kong
(9 March 1969)
| Hong Kong 164 - 13 Singapore
(27 October 1994)
|Japan 94 - 5 Hong Kong
(22 May 2010)
The Hong Kong national rugby union team is a third tier rugby union side. Hong Kong first played in 1969 and since then have always been in the group of the best Asian teams. Their team is made mostly from British origin players, with some natives from Hong Kong. They have yet to qualify for the Rugby World Cup. Rugby union in Hong Kong is administered by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union.
Hong Kong took part in the last Asian qualifying round for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in which they played in the Asian 5 Nations. They finished second in the tournament and will play Uruguay in the repechage semi-final for the opportunity to play in the playoff final of which the winner will qualify for the Rugby World Cup Finals.
Rugby has been played in Hong Kong as long as horses have been racing in Happy Valley. Early newspapers at the Hong Kong Central Public Records Office have accounts of rugby games played during the late 1870s and 80s. Before World War I, Jock McGregor was secretary of the Hong Kong Rugby Club and the game was played mainly by army and navy men, together with the police and merchant cadets from the large Trading Houses.
From 1920 until 1949, Hong Kong teams regularly took part in "Interport" competitions with Shanghai.
After World War II, manpower in Hong Kong increased and local competition flourished. In 1951, the Hong Kong team played in Japan, captained by the late Gerry Forsgate, former President of the Union. This was the start of many tournaments and games, both home and away throughout Asia, and in 1952 the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) was formed.
During this period, the strength of club rugby was with the Football Club side, Police and occasionally Service teams. In 1967, Hong Kong became a founding member of the Asian Rugby Football Union and has since played a key role in developing the game of rugby in Asia.
The Valley Rugby Football Club were formed in 1975 and the first Hong Kong Sevens Tournament took place in 1976. Both remain in very good shape, with Hong Kong hosting the 1997 and 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens and the "Sevens" going on to become the premier tournament of the IRB World Sevens Series. The Hong Kong Sevens is very much the "flagship" of Hong Kong Rugby and the Union is working hard to maintain its status as part of the rugby legacy for all rugby players in Hong Kong.
The HKRFU continue to commit to developing rugby in Hong Kong and Asia with many local players having taken up the game at touch, tag or the full contact version. A number of other Clubs - Kowloon RFC, Hong Kong Cricket Club, DeA Tigers RFC, Gai Wu, Causeway Bay, Tai Po Dragons, Hong Kong Scottish, Typhoons, City and University - have joined in the local competition.
Recently, Touch & Tag rugby has gained a considerable following in Hong Kong with many of the enthusiasts feeling great interest in the full tackle version of the game.
Today there are a total of 48 men's teams playing in six Divisions and 10 women's teams in two Divisions. Six teams will contest the men's First Division title including defending champions Whichway Valley, runners-up Leighton HKCC, Abacus Kowloon, DeA Tigers, Newedge Club and Bloomberg HK Scottish. A further six teams will take part in the Division Two championship including Valley Knights, Club II, DeA II, HKCC II, HKS Nomads and PLA.
Under the auspices of the HKRFU competitive and social rugby is also offered to Tertiary, Youth, Colts, Schools and Mini Rugby players in Hong Kong, both boys and girls. In the season ahead over 7,000 players will be active in the game on a regular basis.
The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union remains committed to recruiting and developing new players and continuing the great tradition of rugby in Hong Kong.
Head Coach: Dai Rees
- "Hong Kong national team". Hong Kong Rugby official website. 2011-04-08.
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