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Introduction

Nehe Milner-Skudder won the 2013 GFI HKFC 10s with Penguins, two years before winning the World Cup.

Hundreds of past, present and future internationals from over 20 countries have played in the GFI HKFC 10s, including seven of the All Blacks team that won the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. The ‘Magnificent Seven’ were:

Conrad Smith (outside centre) – Otago Shepherds 2003

Jerome Kaino (flanker) – NZ Metro 2003 (champions)

Charlie Faumuina (prop) – NZ Metro 2008 (champions)

Ben Smith (fullback) – NZ Legends 2008 (Year TBC)

Sam Cane (flanker) – Samurai 2010

Beauden Barrett (flyhalf) – Penguins 2010

Nehe Milner-Skudder (wing) – Penguins 2013 (champions)

It was a second straight Rugby World Cup title for Smith and Kaino, who both competed at the 2003 HKFC 10s before establishing themselves as All Blacks legends over the following decade.

Since GFI took over title sponsorship in 2006, other stars at the 10s have included Joe Roff and Toutai Kefu (both 2006), Jonah Lomu (2007), Brian Lima and Israel Dagg (2008), Bob Skinstad (2009) and Waisale Serevi (2010).

The ‘wow’ factor rose in 2011 with the arrival of the star-studded BGC Asia Pacific Dragons, whose stars included George Gregan, Christian Cullen and Nemani Nadolo (2011), Justin Marshall (2011, 2012), Rico Gear (2011, 2013), Mils Muliaina (2012), Todd Clever (2012, 2013), Marty Holah (2013) and George Smith, Alesana Tuilagi and Radike Samo (2014). Clever and Gear also played for Penguins in 2015.

Australia legend David Campese (2011) and former New Zealand captain Tana Umaga (2012-15) took charge of the Dragons and were just as high-profile as their players, many of whom sought autographs from their coaches after the tournament!

In 2016 the APDs fielded three former All Blacks - scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan, prop Carl Hayman and lock Isaac Ross - but it was Super Bowl winner Nate Ebner who earned the most media attention as he helped Samurai into the final during his ultimately successful bid to secure a place in the USA Sevens team at the Rio Olympics.

Wendell 'Big Dell' Sailor, Luke Burgess, Stephen Hoiles and Morgan Turunui and the rest of the Classic Wallabies added the star dust in 2017, although the Kir Club Pyrenees side led by France legend Damien Traille (85 caps, 2001-11) had the last laugh, beating the Aussies in the pool stage and eventually lifting the second-tier Plate.

However, this is just the latest wave of stars to grace Hong Kong Football Club for the 10s, which in its early years attracted many of the game’s most famous faces. See Early Years (1986-95)

Note: Much of the historic content is based on ongoing research and contributions from organisers, coaches and players involved in the HKFC 10s, so will be occasionally updated. If you have any helpful comments, please email: john@ii-int.com