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Penguin International (Seed 1)

Home: UK  Players: International  Founded: 1959

HKFC 10s: 11 (2007-2017) Highlights: Cup winners 2013, 2016; Cup runners-up 2007, 2008

Coaches: Willie Walker (NZL), Steve Hill (UK)

Manager: Graeme Inglis (UK)  Asst Manager: Dave Gorrie (NZL)

Physio: Marc Daniel (MAL)  Masseur: Sue Olovsson (SWE)

Liaison Manager: Dean Herewini (NZL)  CEO: Craig Brown (NZL)

Website: www.penguinrugby.com  Facebook: penguinrugby 

Twitter: penguinrugby  Instagram: penguinrugby

Defending champions Penguins have again opted for an experienced two-pronged coaching attack as former New Zealand Maori flyhalf Willie Walker returns to link up with Steve Hill, Director of Rugby at Richmond in England, who takes charge of the forwards.

Walker, who played for Highlanders, Gloucester and Worcester, last played for Penguins at the GFI HKFC 10s in 2015 alongside the likes of All Black Rico Gear and USA legend Todd Clever, but last year revelled in a co-coach role – alongside Scott Waldrom – and will again look after the backs.

In their 11th straight appearance at the GFI HKFC 10s, Penguins are seeking to win the Bill Burgess Cup for the third time in five years and have retained a handful of last year’s players in a squad typically dominated by Kiwis, including four current or recent New Zealand Sevens players.

The hot-stepping Joe Webber, flanker Tone Ng Shiu and wing Lewis Ormond have all played on the 2016-17 World Rugby Seven Series, while Bay of Plenty centre Teddy Stanaway was contracted in 2015-16. Callum Sirker – who turns 19 on the opening day of the GFI HKFC 10s – joined England Sevens this season and is also very quick.

Kiwi flanker Johan Bardoul, who played Super Rugby for Chiefs for the past two years, Richmond captain Will Warden and Canada hooker Eric Howard, fresh from playing in this year’s Americas Rugby Championship, are newcomers up front.

Burly 115kg prop Tau Koloamatangi, who played for New Zealand at the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2014 and 2015, arrives hot off a Hong Kong Premiership win with Valley and adds to an impressive group of forwards including Hapakuki Moala-Liava'a, the 20-year-old North Harbour flanker.

Among the familiar faces, Hooker Gafa Su’a is back for a third straight year, while other returning players include Bay of Plenty centre Lalakai Foketi and Samoa-born Shalom Suniula, the USA 15s and sevens flyhalf.

While in Hong Kong for the GFI HKFC 10s, Penguins always hold clinics at a number of places including Sandy Bay and support the HKRU school rugby programme.

Founded in England in 1959, Penguins are one of the world’s premier touring and coaching clubs, having played in or against teams from at least 72 countries, stating: “We are not only the most travelled rugby club in the world but the most travelled sports club in the world.”

Jersey# Player (Country) Position Height Weight Age (Born) 
1 Gafa Su'aa (NZL) Hooker 1.78m 114kg 22 (09/05/1994)
2 Hapakuki Moala-Liava'a (NZL) Flanker  1.91m 111kg 20 (09/11/1996)
3 Johan Bardoul (NZL) (Co.Capt.)  Flanker  1.92m 109kg 29 (16/01/1987)
4 Will Warden (ENG)  Flanker  1.96m 108kg 29 (20/11/1987)
5 Tone Ng Shiu (NZL) Flanker  1.92m 115kg 22 (26/05/1994)
6 Eric Howard (CAN)  Hooker 1.75m 104kg 23 (05/09/1993)
8 Teddy Stanaway (NZL)  Centre 1.95m 97kg 27 (03/08/1989)
9 Joe Webber (NZL)  Scrumhalf 1.84m 95kg 23 (27/08/1993)
10 Shalom Suniula (USA) (Co.Capt.)  Flyhalf 1.73m 86kg 28 (05/06/1988)
12 Russell Weir (SCO)  Scrumhalf 1.80m 84kg 26 (27/04/1990)
14 Callum Sirker (ENG)  Wing 1.82m 89kg 19 (05/04/1998)
16 Tau Koloamatangi (NZL)  Prop 1.72m 115kg 22 (03/01/1995)
17 Lewis Ormond (NZL)  Wing 1.92m 100kg 23 (05/02/1994)
18 Jesse Parete (NZL)  No.8 1.93m 112kg 23 (20/04/1993)
20 Lalakai Foketi (NZL)  Centre 1.85m 99kg 22 (22/12/1994)
21 Naima Fualaau (USA)  Flyhalf, Fullback 1.78m 81kg 18 (17/06/1998)

 

Mourant Ozannes Samurai International (Seed 2)

Home: UK  Players: International  Founded: 1996

HKFC 10s: 11 (2005-07, 2010-17)  Highlights: Cup runners-up 2010, 2013, 2016

Head Coach: Nick Wakley (WAL)(     Asst Coach: Donald Barrell (ENG)

Team Manager: Mark Dean (UK)  Asst Manager: Fahad Mandhry (KEN)

Kit Technician: Andy Herlihey (UK)  Physio: Tim McClosker

Ambassador: John Bentley (UK)  Director of Rugby: Terry Sands (UK)

Mourant Ozannes Samurai International have captured the hearts of many neutrals after losing in three Cup finals in the past seven years, especially considering the agonising nature of their last two narrow defeats to Penguins.

Marking their 11th year at the GFI HKFC 10s and their 21st as a touring team, Samurai have again assembled another diverse, multi-national squad as they seek to win the Bill Burgess Cup for the first time. Mourant Ozannes, now a naming sponsor, is again supporting the UK-based team’s campaign in Hong Kong.

Nick Wakley, the former Wales Sevens player now working with the Wales women’s 15s and sevens teams, is head coach for a fourth year and is supported by Don Barrell, the former Saracens back-rower and now Academy Manager.

On the pitch Cardiff hooker Luke Crocker, a recent Wales Sevens player, represents Samurai in Hong Kong for a third time and is part of a strong group of forwards that includes back-rower Daniel Temm, one of the squad’s two current England Sevens players.

Temm, 25, rose up the ranks at Newcastle Falcons after originally moving to the UK to play cricket, and soon after playing last year’s GFI HKFC 10s was called up by England Sevens and has played on the 2016-17 World Rugby Sevens Series.

In the backs, England Sevens scrumhalf Cam Cowell returns after shining for Samurai last year before being called up on day two to the Hong Kong Sevens squad!

Canada internationals Gordon McRorie and wing Dan Moor boost the backline. McRorie, who was born in Hong Kong, played in the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the scrumhalf captained Canada in the recent Americas Rugby Championship. English wing Paolo Odogwu, 20, could also be one to watch for his searing pace.

Despite never winning in Hong Kong, Samurai have enjoyed success around the world and last year won the Independence 7s (Lagos, Nigeria), Super Sevens Series (UK), Dublin 7s and the Greene King Premier 7s (UK), and were runners-up at the Safari 7s (Nairobi, Kenya) and New York 7s (USA).

In 2015, Samurai won the Amsterdam 7s (Netherlands), Safari 7s, Dubai 7s – International Invitation (UAE) and Super Sevens Series, and were runners up in the Limerick World Club Sevens (Ireland).

John Bentley, who played for England in both union and league, is accompanying Samurai 20 years after starring in the British and Irish Lions in South Africa. Samurai founder Terry Sands remains in charge, with his former roles as Team Manager for England Saxons then England Sevens helping secure current Sevens Series players.

 

Jersey # Player (Country) Position Height  Weight Age (Born)
1 Luke Crocker (WAL) Flanker 1.88 m 107 kg 27 (09/10/1989)
2 Japie Nel (RSA) Inside Centre 1.85 m 117 kg 34 (20/11/1982)
3 Gerhardus Engelbrecht (RSA) Prop 1.90 m  118 kg 25 (30/05/1991)
4 Cornelius Jacobs (RSA) Lock 1.80 m  89 kg 20 (30/08/1996)
5 Oskar Hirskj-Douglas (ENG) Back Row 1.83 m 103 kg 22 (29/11/1994)
6 Joe Tomlinson (WAL) Hooker 1.86 m 103 kg 24 (01/08/1992)
7 Daniel Temm (NZL/ENG) Flanker 1.93 m 102 kg 25 (20/05/1991)
8 Sione Vailanu (TON/JPN) No. 8 1.85 m 120 kg 22 (27/01/1995)
9 Paolo Odogwu (ENG) Wing 1.73 m 98 kg 20 (18/02/1997)
10 Adrian Curry (NZL) Flyhalf 1.84 m 90 kg 27 (28/12/1989)
11 Dan Moor (CAN) Wing 1.83 m 100 kg 26 (24/07/1990)
12 Gordon McRorie (CAN) Scrumhalf 1.78 m 80 kg 28 (12/05/1988)
13 Tim Streather (ENG) Centre, Wing 1.83 m 87 kg 28 (14/06/1988)
14 Cameron Cowell (ENG) Scrumhalf 1.75 m 80 kg 21 (23/01/1996)
15 Wynand Pienaar (RSA) Fullback, Centre 1.86 m 97 kg 27 (05/08/1989)
16 Malon Al-Jiboori (USA) Flanker 1.90 m 103 kg 20 (08/01/1997)
Hogan Lovells Asia Pacific Dragons (Seed 3)

Home: Asia-Pacific  Players: Asia-Pacific  Founded: 2011

HKFC 10s: 7 (2011-2017)  Highlights: Cup winners 2012, 2014, 2015

Head Coach: Heyneke Meyer  Manager: Jon Phelps

Asst Coaches: Hale T-Pole, Derick Hougaard, Jaco van der Westheimen, Zac Labalaba

Website: www.carinat.com 

Facebook: APDsRugby  Twitter: APDRugby

Heyneke Meyer has been charged with leading the Hogan Lovells Asia Pacific Dragons back to winning ways at this week’s GFI HKFC 10s as the former Springbok coach follows in the footsteps of David Campese (2011), three-time winner Tana Umaga (2012-15) and Reuben Parkinson (2016).

Meyer, 49, was at Bulls and Leicester before coaching South Africa from 2012 through the 2015 Rugby World Cup, then linked up with the Asia Pacific Dragons at last year’s World Club 10s organised by Hong Kong-based Carinat, also organiser of the APDs.

Meyer’s four assistant coaches in Hong Kong include Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 38, and Derick Hougaard, 34, both former Springbok flyhalves and 2003 Rugby World Cup teammates. Tonga icon Hale T-Pole – who played his second World Cup in 2015 – is assistant coach for a third year, having played for the APDs in their first four appearances at the 10s, while Fiji’s Zac Labalaba is back for a second year.

Springbok wing Cornal Hendricks features in the squad, which also includes players from Fiji, New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa. The APDs trained twice on Monday, after conducting a junior clinic on Sunday for Tung Chung Rugby Club.

Hendricks, 28, played on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for three years then earned 12 caps for the Springboks in 2014 and 2015 while playing Super Rugby for Cheetahs before a heart condition curtailed his pro career. 

Isaac Ross, 32, captained the APDs last year and the 6-foot 7-inch former All Blacks lock brings back his experience of playing Super Rugby for Crusaders, Highlanders and Chiefs, then in Japan with NTT Shining Arcs since 2011.

Others with international experience include Wellington flanker Greg Foe, who represented Samoa at U20 level and in Sevens, and captained Samoa A before making his Test debut against Fiji last year, since winning four more caps.

Auckland flyhalf Latiume Fosita, 24, who has played for Tonga since 2013 and featured in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, including a start against New Zealand.

Jersey # Player (Country) Position Height  Weight Age (Born)
1 Ha'amea Ahio (NZL) Prop 1.81 m 105 kg 27 (30/10/1989)
2 Valentine Meachen (NZL) Hooker 1.83 m 113 kg 24 (25/10/1992)
3 Malakai Volau (FIJ) Back Row 1.88 m 108 kg 34 (17/03/1983)
4 Tevita Naqali (FIJ) Lock, Flanker 1.98 m 108 kg 23 (21/06/1993)
5 Isaac Ross (NZL) Lock 2.01 m 113 kg 32 (27/10/1984)
6 Juita Tabuku (FIJ) Forward 1.93 102 kg  
7 Greg Foe (SAM) Flanker 1.81 m 102 kg 25 (17/12/1991)
8 Fotu Lokotui (TON) Flanker 1.89 m 89 kg 25 (19/03/1992)
9 Vuga Tagicakibau (FIJ) Scrumhalf 1.75 m 85 kg 27 (13/09/1989)
10 Latiume Fosita (TON) Flyhalf 1.87 m 97 kg 24 (25/07/1992)
11 Cornall Hendricks (RSA) Wing 1.89 m 90 kg 28 (18/04/1988)
12 Cardiff Vaega (NZL) Centre 1.83 m 100 kg 25 (23/09/1991)
13 Eldon Schoenberg (RSA) Back 1.87 92 kg  
14 Atunaisa Masirewa (FIJ) Wing 1.94 m  98 kg  
15 Jone Manu (FIJ) Flyhalf, Fullback 1.73 m 88 kg 20 (05/04/1996)
16 Nacanieli Labalaba (FIJ) Back 1.82m 83 kg  
Tradition YCAC (Seed 4)

Home: Japan  Players: New Zealand  Founded: 1866 

HKFC 10s: 5 (2013-2017)  Highlights: Cup runners-up 2014, 2015; Cup semis 2013, 2016

Team Manager: Simon Ryan

Website: www.ycacrugby.com  Facebook: 'YCAC Rugby'

Tradition YCAC have been among the 10s' leading teams since their debut in 2013, reaching the Cup final twice and the semis twice.

YCAC’s 2016 squad featured Sherwin Stowers, who has represented New Zealand Sevens since 2012, and England's Mat Turner, the 2012 World Sevens Player of the Year nominee. Turner played for Samurai at the 10s in 2014.

Japan-based Simon Ryan is managing YCAC for a fifth year, having led player recruitment for champions Tradition Valley in 2011.

YCAC is a sister club to Hong Kong Football Club and hosted the HKFC Ice women’s team in April 2016 as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations.

Jersey # Player (Country) Position Height  Weight Age (Born)
1 Pio Tuwai (FIJ) Prop/Lock 1.95 m 108 kg  33 (26/08/1983)
2 Fletcher Mathews (NZL) Wing 1.80 m 92 kg 23 (02/04/1994)
3 Sam Vaka (NZL) Back 1.86 m  95 kg 24 (26/10/1992)
5 Penitoa Finau (NZL) Forward      
6 Jayden Toa-Maxwell (NZL) Back      
7 Kurt Eklund (NZL) Forward      
8 Edwin Cocker (NZL) Back Row 1.88 m 101 kg 36 (03/11/1980)
9 Henry Vanderglas (AUS) Flanker 1.94 m  109 kg (09/05/1986)
10 Baden Kerr (NZL) Flyhalf, Fullback 1.90 m  90 kg 27 (09/06/1989)
11 Jamie Booth (NZL) Scrumhalf 1.71 m 82 kg 22 (14/09/1994)
12 Gareth William-Spiers (NZL) Wing 1.77 m 90 kg 27 (09/09/1989)
13 Hayden Schrijvers (NZL) Scrumhalf 1.82 m 90 kg 23 (09/07/1993)
14 Jesse Pitman (NZL) Centre 1.83 m 90kg 25 (22/10/1991)
16 Te Puoho Stephens (NZL) Forward      
17 Dan Schrijvers (NZL) Back Row 1.83 m 92 kg 20 (23/06/1996)
69 Mark Jackman (NZL) Flyhalf 1.85 m 95 kg 28 (27/05/1988)
Classic Wallabies (Seed 5)

Home: Australia  Players: Australia

HKFC 10s: 1 (2017)  Highlights: Debut

Head Coach: Justin Harrison  Assistant Coach: Nathan McMahon

Manager: Anthony Hill  Physio: Sam Bartlett  Kit Man: Mark Sweeney 

Liaison Officers: Siam Sattayaphan, Andrew Welling

Website: http://www.rugby.com.au/teams/classic-wallabies

The star-studded Classic Wallabies, whose sponsors include Kerry Hotel, Amicorp and Pegasystems, are the only debutants in 2017 and will be among the teams to watch, especially as the squad has plenty of young legs in the form of Australia Sevens and Australia U20 players.

The towering Justin Harrison (34 caps, 2001-04) – who played lock for Brumbies, Waratahs, Ulster and Bath – is head coach of a side that includes his 2003 Rugby World Cup teammates Wendell ‘Big Dell’ Sailor and centre Morgan Turinui.

An awesome sight in full flow, Sailor (37 caps, 2002-06) represented Australia in rugby league and then union, and was one of the top finishers in both codes. After eight seasons with Brisbane Broncos, the big-framed winger switched to union in 2001 and played for Reds and then Waratahs. The crowd favourite finished his competitive career in 2010 after returning to league for two seasons at St George Illawara Dragons.

Turinui (20 caps, 2003-05) also played for Waratahs and Reds. Currently assistant coach at the Melbourne Rebels, the 35-year-old centre even turned out for the side at the recent Brisbane Global 10s.

Hooker Adam Freier (25 caps, 2002-08) and back-rower Stephen Hoiles (16 caps, 2004-08) both played at the 2007 World Cup in France and both are currently ARU employees. Freier is Head of Digital and Wallabies Media, while Hoiles is Manager of the Classic Wallabies.

Freier, 36, played hooker at Rebels, Waratahs and Brumbies, while back-rower Hoiles, 35, starred for Waratahs and Brumbies, returning to Waratahs for the 2014 season. Both still play club rugby for Randwick.

Luke Burgess (37 caps, 2008-11) was part of the Wallabies squad that finished third at the 2011 World Cup and the 33-year-old scrumhalf only recently called time on a career that included time at Waratahs, Brumbies, Rebels, Toulouse in France and Zebre in Italy.

Pat Phibbs, 35, played scrumhalf for Brumbies, Australia A and Australia Sevens, and is also among the squad’s senior members along with former Waratahs and Australia Sevens fullback Brendan Williams, former Waratahs centre Sam Harris, and Australia rugby league representative Steve Menzies.

The provisional Australia Sevens contingent included teenager Dylan Pietsch, who played in this year’s Sydney Sevens, fellow back-rower Tom Connor and centre Ben O’Donnell. Player of the Tournament at last November’s National Sevens Championship in Adelaide, New Zealand-born O’Donnell is the cousin of Super Rugby players Kylem and Declan O’Donnell, who both played for New Zealand Sevens.

Jersey # Player (Country) Position Height  Weight Age (Born)
1 Trent Anderson (AUS) Prop 1.83 m 117 kg 25 (23/02/1991)
2 Dylan Pietsch (AUS) Back Row 1.79 m 95 kg  18 (23/04/1998)
4 Steph Van Der Walt (AUS) Lock 1.88 m 98 kg 25 (21/04/1991)
5 Steve Menzies (AUS) Centre 1.90 m  101 kg  43 (04/12/1973)
6 Stephen Hoiles (AUS) Flanker 1.90 m 97 kg 35 (13/10/1981)
7 Tom Connor (AUS) Flanker 1.83 m 92 kg 24 (29/07/1992
9 Luke Burgess (AUS) Scrumhalf 1.79 m 89 kg 33 (20/08/1983)
10 Pat Phibbs (AUS) Scrumhalf 1.80 m 88 kg 35 (16/10/1981) 
11 Brendan Williams (AUS) Fullback 1.70 m 76 kg 38 (21/05/1978)
12 Sam Harris (AUS) Flyhalf, Centre 1.90 m 103 kg 37 (30/01/1980) 
13 Morgan Turinui (AUS) Centre 1.81 m 101 kg 35 (05/01/1982)
14 Wendell Sailor (AUS) Wing 1.91 m 106 kg 42 (16/07/1974)
15 Ben O’Donnell (AUS) Centre, Fullback 1.90 m 88 kg 21 (14/08/1995)
16 Will Munro (AUS) Lock 1.92 m 97 kg 24 (29/09/1992)
18 Connor Mitchell Wing 1.90 m  90 kg 22 (24/05/1994)
19 Josh Coward Scrumhalf 1.68 m  71 kg 19 (08/07/1997)
A-Trade Overseas Old Boys (Seed 6)

Home: Hong Kong  Players: International  Founded: 2004

HKFC 10s: 14 (2004-2017) 

Highlights: Plate winners 2016, Bowl winners 2005

Coaches: Ken Woodward, Jonny Hylton  

Manager: Rob Wright  Physio David Bayldon

Website: www.overseasoldboys.com

A-Trade Overseas Old Boys are sixth seeds after their stunning Plate victory last year when an international squad captained by former New Zealand Sevens star Zar Lawrence ended an 11-year wait for their second piece of silverware.

The team’s excitement was amplified after suffering Bowl final losses in 2011, 2012 and 2015, and the majority of last year’s squad have returned as the Old Boys try to live up to their new-found status as one of the tournament’s big boys.

This year, the team will be playing in tribute to the late Tony Pannell, who co-founded the team with Rob Wright in 2004 specifically for the GFI HKFC 10s. Kenzo Pannell, Tony’s son, will play for the team for the first time since 2013 and the Japan-based former Hong Kong scrumhalf provides a local connection with Hong Kong forward Raef Morrison.

Despite their local origins, Old Boys recruit from around the world and players this year also hail from New Zealand, Australia, Samoa, South Africa and Ireland.

Although Lawrence is not returning, Old Boys have secured towering Luke Masirewa, a former New Zealand Sevens player who played for Tradition YCAC in 2015 and 2016. Australian wing Tom Cox, who once played for the Brumbies against Wales, is another strong addition, coming from Japan’s Yakult Levins.

South African No. 8 Louis Hazelhurst was the top try scorer in the 2015 GFI HKFC 10s and the former Sharks U21 representative is back after missing last year through injury. Irish flanker Scott Deasy and Kiwi centre Oka Sanerivi also return from the 2015 side.

Kiwi flankers Hamish Paterson, Cox’s teammate at Yakult Levins, and Clendon Pene both make a fourth straight appearance for Old Boys, while compatriots Willie Umu and Adam Jones make it three in a row.

Rugby league stalwart Steven Waetford, a New Zealand Maori representative who captained Warriors in the New South Wales Cup, bolsters the side’s strong New Zealand connection for a second year, while former Samoa U20 prop Feta Luamanu is looking to make another strong impact.

Ken Woodward will again coach with Johnny Hilton, while Rob Wright continues as manager. Initially inspired by the regular Hong Kong v Overseas Schoolboys fixture at Hong Kong Football Club on New Year’s Day, Old Boys are making their 14th straight appearance at the GFI HKFC 10s, putting them behind only hosts Natixis HKFC (32) and Irish Vikings (17) among this year’s sides.

The team are again grateful to the team’s merry band of generous supporters, especially long-time naming sponsor A-Trade.

Jersey # Player (Country) Position  Height  Weight Age (Date of Birth)
1 Hamish PATERSON (NZL) Back Row 1.89 m 106 kg 29 (24/04/1987)
4 Clendon PENE (NZL) No. 8, Blindside 1.83 m 120 kg 33 (09/01/1984)
5 Steven WAETFORD (AUS) Fullback, Centre, Flyhalf 1.79 m 93 kg 31 (24/12/1985)
6 Tom COX (AUS) Wing, Fullback 1.86 m 92 kg 28 (04/10/1988)
7 Willie UMU (NZL) Centre, Wing 1.88 m 100 kg 28 (11/05/1988)
8 Adam JONES (NZL) Front Row, Back Row 1.78 m 100 kg 28 (12/02/1989)
9 Mason WALKER (NZL) Fullback 1.79 m 85 kg 23 (19/01/1994)
10 Luke MASIREWA (NZL) Prop 1.96 m 88 kg 23 (18/03/1994)
11 Paul DERHAM (IRE) No. 8 1.88 m 100 kg 23 (14/04/1993)
12 Louis HAZELHURST (RSA) No. 8 1.94 m 101 kg 24 (02/02/1993)
13 Scott DEASY (IRE) Flanker 1.83 m 100 kg 28 (11/10/1988)
15 Tom KIERSEY (IRE) Flyhalf, Fullback 1.78 m 88 kg 23 (18/12/1993)
16 Iafeta LUAMANU (SAM) Front Row 1.75 m 120 kg 22 (23/06/1994 )
18 Kenzo PANNELL (HKG/JPN) Scrumhalf 1.73 m 80 kg 32 (08/05/1984)
20 Oka SANERIVI (NZL) Centre, Wing, Fullback 1.80 m 90 kg 29 (22/02/1987)
19 Seb O'Brien
Taikoo Place Scottish Exiles (Seed 7)

Home: Hong Kong  Players: International  Founded: 2012

HKFC 10s: 6 (2012-2017)  Highlights: Cup semis 2015; Plate runners-up 2012, 2013, 2016

Coaches: Craig Hammond (NZL), Bryan Rennie (SCO)

Team Managers: Stephen Dowse (UK), Daniel McCray (AUS)

Website: www.hongkongscottish.com 

Facebook: Hong-Kong-Scottish-RFC 

Twitter: hkscottish  Instagram: hkscottish

Hong Kong forwards coach Craig Hammond again takes charge of the Taikoo Place Scottish Exiles, made up mainly of players from Bloomberg Hong Kong Scottish. Hammond, who coached HK Scottish to third in the 2016-17 Premiership table, will be supported by former Scotland A international Bryan Rennie, now in his latest role with the Exiles at the 10s, having been a player then a team manager.

Player-coach as Exiles reached last year’s Plate final, Hammond will remain on the sidelines this year, while the Exiles are also without any current Scotland Sevens players for the first time.

Despite suffering three Plate final defeats in five years, Exiles remain one of the event’s steadiest performers, having always finished second in their pool and progressed to the Cup quarters.

Captain Kane Boucaut and fellow Australian back rower Austin Smith both turn out Exiles for a third straight year, as does USRC Tigers lock Sam Hocking. Burly prop Jamie Pincott, lock George Fleming and centres Conor Hartley and Ben Cullen also provide continuity from 2016.

Former Hong Kong scrumhalf Charles Cheung makes a tournament comeback, while newcomers include Kiwi flanker Josh Dowsing, who arrived at HK Scottish from Chiefs Development, having captained Samoa at the 2015 World Rugby U20 Championship. Hong Kong U20 captain Mark Coebergh and fellow U20 representative Ale Nardoni also make their 10s debut.

Exiles boast several players who have shone in Scottish rugby. Last year, flyhalf Gregor McNeish won the BT Premiership and BT Cup double with Heriot’s, and flanker Ewan Miller helped Watsonians win National League One before the pair joined HK Scottish.

Retired centre James King adds experience after playing professionally for Border Reivers, L’Aquila in Italy and Edinburgh, while former Glasgow Warriors wing Chris Kinloch, who played Scotland Sevens, and Welsh scrumhalf Bryn Phillips, formerly of Cardiff, have been drafted from local rivals Kowloon.

Jersey # Player (Country) Position Height  Weight Age (Born)
1 Jamie Pincott (HKG) Prop 1.93 m  125 kg 27 (21/09/1989)
2 Chris Kinloch (SCO) Wing 1.86 m 100 kg 28 (17/12/1988)
3 Sam Hocking (SCO) Back Row 1.91 m  109 kg 32 (17/12/1984)
4 Francis Smith        
5 Ewan Miller (SCO) Flanker 1.78m 90 kg 25 (16/03/1992)
6 Austin Smith (AUS) Back Row 1.85 m 95 kg 26 (10/09/1990)
7 Josh Dowsing (NZL) Flanker 1.90 m  105 kg 22 (19/09/1995)
8 Kane Boucaut (AUS) (capt)  No. 8 1.86 m 100 kg 25 (17/04/1991)
9 Charles Cheung (HKG) Scrumhalf 1.78 m 87 kg 27 (25/11/1989)
10 Gregor McNeish (SCO) Flyhalf 1.79 m 78 kg 25 (25/08/1991)
11 Ale Nardoni (HKG) Flanker 1.85 m 93 kg 20 (03/10/1996)
12 Stephen Willis        
13 Ben Cullen (SCO) Centre 1.87 m 87 kg 26 (29/04/1990)
14 Bryn Phillips (WAL) Scrumhalf 1.81 m 84 kg 24 (23/09/1992)
15 Ben Madgwick Centre      
16 James King (SCO) Centre 1.78 m 86 kg 31 (31/03/1986 )
Projecx Waterboys (Seed 8)

Home: Scotland  Players: Scotland  Founded: 2012

HKFC 10s: 2 (2016-17)  Highlights: Plate semis 2016

Coaches: Jamie Parker, Craig Sorbie  Manager: James 'Cakes' Robertson

Physio Fiona Robertson  Team Boss Alistair Munro

Facebook: ProjecxWaterboys  Twitter: WaterboysRugby 

Instagram: WaterboysRugby

Back with a squad packed with Scottish Premiership players, Projecx Waterboys are seeded eighth after an impressive debut campaign in 2016 when they upset the formbook – and Kir Club Pyrenees in the pool stage – to reach the Cup quarter-finals.

New Zealander Jack Turley is the only player from last year’s squad set to return, although this time the tall flanker arrives from Fylde, having joined the English National League 1 club last year after several seasons as captain of Heriot’s, the 2014-15 Premiership champions.

Russell Nimmo, Turley’s teammate in the Premiership-winning side, played for Natixis HKFC in last year’s GFI HKFC 10s during a season with Club and the lock is now back with Heriot’s. Nimmo is joined by Heriot’s scrumhalf Tom Wilson.

Ayr No. 8 Pete McCallum, the 2015-16 BT Premiership Player of the Season, captained Scotland Club XV in February and is joined in Hong Kong by Ayr flyhalf Danny McCluskey.

Currie are represented by centre Robbie Nelson, 21-year-old wing Harvey Elms – who have both played for Scotland Club XV – and 20-year-old Scotland Sevens wing Ben Robbins. A top sprinter and 400m runner in his teens, Robbins has played on the World Rugby Sevens Series this year and will provide plenty of pace.

Other Premiership players include flankers Shaun MacDonald and Ruairidh Leishman (both Stirling County), flyhalf Dougie Steele (Boroughmuir) and wing Kerr Gossman (Glasgow Hawks).

Last year, Waterboys announced themselves by beating fifth seeds Pyrenees in the pool stage to earn a place in the Cup competition, before losing hard-fought contests against eventual champions Penguins (17-7) and Plate winners A-Trade Overseas Old Boys (14-10). Wing Jordan Edmunds touched down six times to finish as the joint-top scorer with Penguins scrumhalf Kylem O'Donnell, now with Super Rugby side Hurricanes.

Projecx Waterboys was founded in 2012 by Alistair Munro with the aim of  providing younger players with a link to Scotland, who were not within the SRU structure, the opportunity to compete in the world’s largest rugby sevens tournament in Dubai. Since then they have returned to Dubai each December as well as competed at other tournaments around the world.

In 2015, the side lifted the Boot at the Amsterdam Sevens in May, triumphed at the Budapest 7s in July and won the International Social category at December's Dubai Sevens, having lost in the final for the previous two years.

In July 2016, the side retained their title at the Budapest 7s and won the Stockholm 10s, then in December lifted the Plate in the International Open category at the Dubai Sevens.

Projecx Waterboys was founded in 2012 by Alistair Munro with the aim of  providing younger players with a link to Scotland, who were not within the SRU structure, the opportunity to compete in the world’s largest rugby sevens tournament in Dubai. Since then they have returned to Dubai each December as well as competed at other tournaments around the world.

 


Jersey # Player (Country) Position  Height  Weight Date of Birth
1 Ben Johnston (UK) Flanker 1.87 m 100 kg 21 (21/08/1995)
2 Ryan Godsmark (UK) Scrumhalf 1.77 m 89 kg 24 (10/04/1992)
3 Jack Turley (NZL) Lock 1.95 m 106 kg 28 (14/11/1988)
4 Fraser Lyle (UK) Centre 1.88 m 103 kg 28 (16/06/1988)
5 Pete McCallum (UK) Flanker 1.90 m 106 kg 24 (25/08/1992)
6 Russell Nimmo (UK) Lock 1.90 m 105 kg 26 (20/09/1990)
7 Jake Eagelsham (UK) Flanker 1.88 m 108 kg 25 (29/08/1991)
8 Dougie Steele (UK) Flyhalf 1.80 m 92 kg 26 (28/04/1990)
9 Tom Wilson (UK) Scrumhalf 1.78 m 85 kg 23 (18/07/1993)
10 Robbie Nelson (UK) Centre 1.83 m 102 kg 24 (15/11/1992)
11 Harvey Elms (UK) Centre, Wing 1.81 m 87 kg 21 (02/06/1995)
12 Danny McCluskey (UK) Flyhalf 1.80 m 95 kg 22 (26/09/1994)
13 Kerr Gossman (UK) Centre, Wing 1.79 m 88 kg  25 (09/09/1991)
14 Ruairidh Leishman (UK) Flanker 1.93 m 99 kg 23 (20/09/1993)
16 Ben Robbins (UK) Wing 1.82 m 93 kg 20 (09/10/1996)
17 Shaun MacDonald (UK) Flanker 1.80 m 98 kg 22 (23/08/1994)
Kir Club Pyrenees (Seed 9)

Home: France  Players: France  Founded: 2004 

HKFC 10s: 9 (2008-2016) Highlights:  Cup semis 2009; Bowl winners 2014, 2016; Shield winners 2008

Head Coach: Yannick Vignette  Manager: Laurent Capdevielle

Website: pyrenees7s.unblog.fr Facebook: “Pyrènèes Rugby Sevens” 

Twitter: pyreneesrugby7s  Instagram: pyreneesrugby7s

With Kir Club as their sponsor, Pyrenees are back at the HKFC 10s for the 10th straight year and this time they’re bringing Damien Traille as captain.

Traille, 37, was still playing Top 14 last year, played in three Rugby World Cups – two semis and the 2011 final – and won multiple Six Nations and Grand Slams. The 6-foot 4-inch Traille will provide a focal point of the back line.

Pyrenees have otherwise brought a squad of young players representing clubs in the Top 14, Pro D2 and the amateur Federale 1, French rugby’s third tier.

Cameroonian lock Simon Christian Njewel plays for Lyon and stands out at over 6’ 8” and 122kg, but is just one of the squad’s Top 14 representatives. South Africa-born flanker Didier Tison – playing at the 10s for the third time – is also with Lyon, who won promotion last season to the Top 14.

Scrumhalf Jules Le Bail plays for Stade Rochelais (La Rochelle), while scrumhalf Bastien Duhalde and flanker Jean-Blaise Lespinasse are both former France U20 representatives who represent Bayonne. Flanker Benoit Guyot recently retired from Stade Rochelais, having started his career at Stade Francais Paris.

Former Fiji Sevens wing Kunro Kalo is one of several players representing Federale 1 club Auch.

More than 500 players have represented Pyrenees, which was founded in south-western France in 2004 and has been a long-time competitor at events around the world including the Dubai Sevens and SCC Sevens in Singapore 7s, with the purpose of exposing upcoming players to international competition.

The club is also committed to social projects, fielding mentally handicapped players in the Dubai Sevens, giving equipment to local amateur clubs and supporting charity organisations.

The club would like to say a huge ‘MERCI’ to partners Kir Club, Varel International, SNPC and Eurechaff for their support of the team’s participation in this year’s GFI HKFC 10s.

Jersey # Player Name Position  Height  Weight Age (Date of Birth)
1 Fabien DUPUY (FRA) Hooker 1.85 m  105 kg 30 (29/04/1986)
2 Clement ESTERIOLA (FRA) Hooker 1.70 m 107 kg 26 (09/12/1990)
3 Jean-Charles FIDENDE (FRA) Hooker 1.81 m 97 kg 24 (10/05/1992)
4 Jean-Michel TAUZIN (FRA) Flanker 1.90 m  100 kg 31 (26/10/1985)
5 Jean-Blaise LESPINASSE (FRA) Flanker 1.96 m 103 kg 23 (05/01/1994)
6 Didier TISON (FRA/RSA) Flanker 1.83 m 102 kg 23 (14/10/1993)
7 Benoit GUYOT (FRA) Flanker 1.86 m 96 kg 28 (18/01/1989)
8 Jean-Baptiste Gobelet
9 Jules LE BAIL (FRA) Scrumhalf 1.68 m 85 kg 25 (09/02/1992)
10 Matthew FORD (UK) Flyhalf 1.78 m  85 kg 25 (16/04/1991)
11 Bastien DUHALDE (FRA) Scrumhalf 1.78 m 83 kg 24 (04/01/1993)
12 Cyril ANDRE (FRA) Centre 1.87 m  100 kg 23 (09/07/1993)
13 Lucas TOLOT (FRA) Wing 1.85 m  91 kg 26 (03/03/1991)
14 Kunro Kalo (VAN/FIJ) Wing 1.75 m 87 kg 24 (07/02/1993)
15 Damien TRAILLE (FRA) (captain) Centre 1.93 m 105 kg 37 (12/06/1979)
King’s College at UQ – sponsored by Strategic Equity Alliance (Seed 10)

Home: Australia  Players: Australia  Founded: 1912

HKFC 10s: 2 (2016-17)  Highlights: Plate semi-finals 2016 

Coaches: David Jackman, Jarrod Kidston 

Managers: Andrew Collins, Matthew Jarvis

Physio: Amy Dunning  Osteopath/Social Media: Lauren Kidston

Website: www.kingscollegerugby.com.au

Facebook: kingscollegerugby

Twitter: kingsrugbyqld  Instagram: kingsrugby

King’s College at UQ – sponsored by Strategic Equity Alliance are again the youngest team in the GFI HKFC 10s, with an average age of 22 for a second year. The college is home to over 300 men at the University of Queensland and most of their squad in Hong Kong play for UQRFC.

Nicknamed the Red Heavies, UQRFC have won a record 30 titles in the Queensland Premier Rugby competition, most recently in 2014, and have a rich history of providing Australia internationals, among them 10 Wallaby captains including Stephen Moore, James Horwill, Nathan Sharpe and Michael Lynagh.

Coaches David Jackman and Jarrod Kidston return, and this year’s provisional squad includes 10 of last year’s players. Campbell Wakely, 23, will again take on a senior role on the pitch, the hooker having played for Australian Schoolboys, Australian Universities, and Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship in 2014 and 2015.

Fullback Jock Campbell and back-rowers Shanan Goodman and Matthew McCormick have played for Queensland Sevens and all return from last year, as does Harry McNulty, the Bahrain-born Ireland Sevens back.

Scott Gale, 22, is among the squad’s most exciting additions. The scrumhalf burst through in 2014 when he captained the Reds U20s, made the Australia U20 squad, started playing for Queensland Country in the NRC and made his Super Rugby debut for the Reds. In mid-2016, after his Reds contract ended, he joined Western Sydney Rams in the NRC.

Two New Zealanders who play for Natixis HKFC, fullback Jackson Cook and hooker Mitchell Holloway, and USRC Tigers wing Joe Bisgrove are Hong Kong-based newcomers to the squad. UQ alumni Kim Henderson also has a Hong Kong connection, having played for USRC Tigers, and is the team’s ‘old man’ for the second year – at the grand old age of 27!

King’s College enjoyed an outstanding debut last year, despite it being their first overseas tour and first 10-a-side event. They secured a spot in the Cup quarters by beating sixth seeds UBB Gavekal 19-0 and CRFA Gladiators 31-12, then lost 12-7 to eventual finalists Samurai and were again only denied by a single try in a 5-0 defeat to Taikoo Place Scottish Exiles in the Plate semis.

Jersey # Player (Country) Position Height  Weight Age (Born)
1 Campbell WAKELY (AUS) Hooker 1.83 m 105 kg 23 (17/10/1993)
2 Tim MANNS (AUS) Second Row  1.88 m 107 kg 22 (03/01/1995)
4 Thomas VAESSEN (AUS) Second Row, No. 8 1.92 m 108 kg 23 (23/09/1993)
7 Shanan GOODMAN (AUS) Flanker 1.78 m 89 kg 22 (09/04/1994)
8 Joshua REIHER (AUS) Centre, Wing 1.80 m 90 kg 22 (11/11/1994)
9 Scott GALE (AUS) Scrumhalf 1.87 m 87 kg 22 (24/10/1994)
10 Edward GIBSON (AUS) Flyhalf, Centre 1.82 m 89 kg 21 (08/07/1995)
11 Jock CAMPBELL (AUS) Fullback 1.85 m 87 kg 21 (17/05/1995)
12 Harry MCNULTY (IRE) Centre, Wing 1.88 m 96 kg 23 (03/05/1993)
13 Kim HENDERSON (AUS) Wing 1.82 m 88 kg 27 (10/06/1989)
14 Jackson COOK (NZL) Fullback 1.82 m 83 kg 19 (18/03/1998)
15 Ben CAMPBELL (AUS) Centre, Fullback  1.83 m 86 kg 26 (22/03/1991)
16 Joe BISGROVE  (AUS) Wing, Fullback 1.90 m 98 kg 25 (08/05/1991)
17 Reece GRANT (AUS) Centre, Wing 1.89 m 90 kg 20 (03/03/1997)
18 James OHMSEN (AUS) Scrumhalf, No. 5, 8 1.86 m 83 kg 21 (26/03/1995)
19 Mitchell HOLLOWAY (NZL) Hooker 1.75 m 90 kg 25 (09/10/1991)
20 Matt MCCORMICK (AUS) Lock, Back Row 1.88 m 100 kg 22 (13/05/1994)
UBB Gavekal (Seed 11)

Home: Hong Kong / France  Players: International  Founded: 2015

HKFC 10s: 3 (2015-2017) 

Highlights: Bowl winners 2015; Bowl runners-up 2016

Coaches: Matthew Clarkin (NZL), Andrew Kelly (SCO), Jack Isaac (AUS)

Team Manager: Jean-Baptiste Aldige (FRA/HKG)

Website: www.ubbrugby.com  Facebook: ubbrugby 

Twitter: UBBrugby  Instagram: ubbrugby

Representing Top 14 club Union Bordeaux-Begles, UBB Gavekal are making their third appearance at the GFI HKFC 10s with the support of Hong Kong-based Louis-Vincent Gave, founder of financial services company Gavekal and a shareholder in UBB. Gave also sponsored the Gavekal Mongrels at the 2014 GFI HKFC 10s.

Former Valley boss Jack Isaac, the former Biarritz and Tonga coach, returns for a third year as part of the coaching set-up and this time is joined by former UBB captain Matthew Clarkin and current Valley boss Andrew Kelly, who recently guided Valley to the 2016-17 Premiership title after playing in the four previous winning campaigns.

This year’s squad is again dominated by players from New Zealand and South Africa, while French winger Sebastien Alfonsi returns for a third year alongside some new Fijian talent. South African hooker Dayne Jans also represents UBB Gavekal for a third year, while Kiwi flanker Karetai Williams returns from last year’s squad.

Jans and Williams both helped Valley win the 2016-17 Premiership, while Pretoria-born Kiwi Ruan Du Plooy (scrumhalf) and South Africans Grant Kemp (prop) and Martin Muller (lock) are also from the reigning champions. Flanker Stephens Turoa (Kowloon) and centre Joseph Ikenasio (USRC Tigers) are among other Hong Kong-based players.

New Zealanders include North Harbour duo Aorangi Stokes (flanker) and Whiria Meltzer (wing), Otago centre Gavin Stark, Nick Smith (flyhalf) and Bay of Plenty’s Penikolo Latu, a former New Zealand U20 wing. Fiji forward Pita Sowakula comes from Taranaki.

UBB was founded in July 2006 following the merger between CABBG and Stade Bordelais. The club was promoted to the Top 14 in May 2011 and a year later former France captain Raphael Ibanez (98 caps) took over as manager. The team finished seventh in the 2015-16 season.

UBB Gavekal are managed for a third year by Jean-Baptiste Aldige, Managing Director of Sport Inside Asia, a Hong Kong-based sports marketing agency that represents UBB.

Jerseys # Player (Country) Position  Height  Weight Age (Born)
2 Grant KEMP (RSA) Prop 1.87 m 125 kg 27 (05/04/1990)
3 Dayne JANS (RSA) Hooker 1.85 m 115 kg 27 (06/04/1989)
4 Stephens TUROA (NZL) Back Row 1.80 m 95 kg 28 (04/06/1988)
6 Matt Graham (NZL) Lock, Flanker 2.02 m 120 kg 26 (02/07/1990)
7 Aorangi STOKES (NZL) Back Row 1.90 m 95 kg 24 (01/08/1992)
8 Karetai WILLIAMS (NZL) Back Row 1.85 m 95 kg 28 (01/01/1989)
9 Martin MULLER (RSA) Lock 1.96 m 107 kg 26 (25/12/1990)
10 Nick SMITH (NZL) Flyhalf 1.80 m 85 kg 23 (19/07/1993)
11 Lemeki Tulele (FIJ) Flyhalf 1.77 m 85 kg 28 (23/09/1988)
12 Penikolo LATU (NZL) Wing 1.77 m 88 kg 23 (17/06/1993)
13 Samu Bale (FIJ)        
14 Ruan DU PLOOY (NZL) Scrumhalf 1.80 m 88 kg 24 (19/07/1992)
15 Josua Vici (FIJ) Wing 1.77 m 85 kg 23 (20/02/1994)
16 Glen Cakautini (FIJ) Wing      
17 Sebastien ALFONSI (FRA) Wing 1.75 m 90 kg 33 (12/01/1984)
Irish Vikings (Seed 12)

Home: UK  Players: International  Founded: 2001

HKFC 10s: 16 (2001-2016)  Highlights: Plate Winners 2003, 2007 

Team Manager: Andy Douglas

Irish Vikings are playing their 17th straight GFI HKFC 10s, which puts them behind only hosts Natixis HKFC in number of appearances among this year’s teams. And yet again, they’re sporting the tournament’s most eye-catching kit. Gotta love ’em.

Now 50, long-time manager Andy Douglas – at the 10s for the 21st year – will stick to watching from the sidelines after a career that included playing for Hong Kong and Singapore. The former lock has managed yet again to work his magic by recruiting three Academy players from the England Sevens programme including flanker Will Glover, younger brother of Sevens Series player Harry Glover, who shone for Vikings last year.

Flyhalf Tom Ffitch joined the Academy last June and is attached to Newcastle Falcons, making his senior debut for the club last November against Saracens, his former club. Will Attfield, a flyhalf and centre, is now in a gap year and also on an Academy contract with the England Sevens programme, headed by Simon Amor, a fellow Hampton School old boy.

Former Wales U20 rep Sam Pailor is a big, all-action forward who should be suited to the 10s game. As well as seven Brits, the provisional squad included seven New Zealanders, an Australian and a South African.

Kiwi centre Regan King, 36, has played for Chiefs, Stade Francais and Clermont, and had eight seasons in total at Welsh club Scarlets, leaving them last year for RFU Championship club Jersey. Other Kiwis to watch include young flanker Ollie Brosnahan and two based in Hong Kong – fullback Doug Fluker from reigning champions Valley and USRC Tigers No. 8 Josh Hrstich, formerly captain of Garryowen in Limerick in Ireland.

Vikings stalwarts Liam Wordley (yes, he of the moustache) and Marc Watson, the former Sharks and South Africa Sevens wing, are back while other familiar faces include the multi-talented Bryn Templeman, who was both a hooker and fast bowler for Manawatu.

The team’s recent Sevens Series players include New Zealand’s Jordan Bunce (2016), son of Frank, and England duo Dan Bibby – a 2016 Olympic silver medallist – and Ollie Marchon. The pair helped Vikings win the Shield in 2013, a victory dedicated to Vikings founder Mike ‘Raker’ McLean, the Ulster legend who passed away the previous year.

Jersey # Player (Country) Position Height  Weight Age (Born)
1 Bryn Templeman (NZL) Hooker 1.74 m 96 kg 29 (03/02/1988)
2 Matt Dalley (NZL) Centre 1.87 m 97 kg 27 (11/06/1989)
3 Liam Wordley (ENG) Hooker 1.88 m  115 kg 37 (06/07/1979)
4 Sam Pailor (WAL) Lock, Back Row 1.95 m 98 kg 27 (06/09/1989)
5 Marc Watson (RSA) Wing 1.90 m  95 kg 46 (05/12/1970)
6 James Soloman (UK) Wing      
7 Regan King (NZL) Centre 1.88 m  93 kg 36 (02/10/1980)
8 Will Glover (ENG) Flanker 1.86 m 97 kg 19 (01/01/1998)
9 Jamie Perigo (NZL) Centre, Fullback 1.84 m 96 kg 23 (04/06/1993)
12 Ollie Brosnahan (NZL) Flanker  1.89 m 95 kg 20 (08/11/1996)
13 Tom Ffitch (ENG) Flyhalf, Centre 1.78 m 83 kg 19 (12/11/1997)
15 Will Attfield (ENG) Flyhalf, Fullback 1.86 m 85 kg 19 (04/01/1998)
16 Brett Kelly (AUS) Flanker 1.85 m 105 kg 33 (04/06/1983)
Mark Agnew (SCO) Flanker 1.88 m 95 kg 25 (24/04/1991)
Josh Hrstich (NZL) No. 8 1.91 m 115 kg 26 (15/11/1990)
Doug Fluker (NZL) Wing, Fullback 1.80 m 80 kg 31 (30/08/1985)
GoCloudWifi East Africans (Seed 13)

Home: Rwanda  Players: Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya  Founded: 2015

HKFC 10s: 3 (2015-2017)  Highlights: Bowl semis 2015, 2016

Team Manager: David Hughes

Facebook: RwandaRugby  Twitter: RugbyRwanda 

Instagram: RugbyRwanda

GoCloudWifi East Africans are bidding to buck their seeding for the third successive year, having reached the Bowl semi-finals when they were seeded 16th (2015) and 15th (2016). Former USA Sevens boss John McKittrick is head coach for a third straight year and is supported for a second year by Ben Breeze, the former England U21 and Wales Sevens player and a pro for 15 years with Bristol, Newport Gwent Dragons and Exeter Chiefs.

Dave Hughes remains the team’s principal organiser. The Hong Kong-based Brit moved to Rwanda in 2008 and is currently Honorary Director of the FFR (Federation Rwandaise de Rugby), which became a full member of World Rugby in December 2015.

The squad again features players from Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda, but this time has been boosted by former Fiji Sevens wing Jona Tuitoga and Fijian prop John Jackson, who has played for Penguins and Samurai. Kiwi teenager Trent Hape is another non-African addition and last year played in the final of New Zealand’s secondary schools’ championship.

Wing Tony Onyango has represented Kenya on the World Rugby Sevens Series and makes his debut with scrumhalf Geoffrey Ominde, one of four Topfry Nakuru players along with forward Philip Owuor and backs Leslie Ochieng and Kelvin Omiyo. Owuor, Ochieng, and Uganda forwards George Olwoch, Mathias Ochwo and Asuman Mugerwa are representing East Africans for a third year.

Benjamin Makombe and Allan Otim are back at the GFI HKFC 10s for the fourth time in five years, having played in the Rwanda team that debuted in 2013 under former Scotland coach Frank Hadden.

In 2015, East Africans drew 5-5 with eighth seeds Allied World Forces Exiles of Wales before beating Shandong in the Bowl quarters and losing in the semis to UBB Gavekal. In 2016, they crushed XBlades Rowzy Pegasi in the pool stage before beating Devil’s Own Shanghai Rugby to reach the Bowl semis, again losing to UBB Gavekal.

The Rwandan Silverbacks competed in the Kowloon RugbyFest from 2010 to 2012 before Rwanda made their 10s debut in 2013 then returned with reinforcements from 2015 onwards. During their visits, the players trained with elite coaches and teams including The Penguins, and also secure kit and sponsorship, which have helped grow rugby in Rwanda.

Jersey # Player Name Position Height  Weight Age (Born)
1 Benjamin Makombe (RWA) Prop 1.73 m 105 kg 32 (27/07/1984
2 Cyrus Wathum (UGA) Hooker 1.66 m 85 kg 20 (06/06/1996)
3 Asuman Mugerwa (UGA) Prop 1.73 m 106 kg 27 (15/11/1989)
4 Philip Owuor (KEN) Flanker 1.91 m 100 kg 29 (18/08/1987)
6 George Olwoch (UGA) No. 8 1.83 m 108 kg 34 (15/04/1982)
7 Mathias Ochwo (UGA) Flanker 1.89 m 102 kg 35 (05/12/1981)
8 Jona Tuitoga (FIJ) Wing 1.73 m 94 kg 30 (06/02/1987)
9 Geoffrey Ominde (KEN) Scrumhalf 1.76 m 74 kg 27 (12/12/1989)
10 Ochen Boskut (UGA) Flyhalf 1.58 m 80 kg 24 (19/05/1992)
11 Trent Hape (NZL) Scrumhalf 1.68 m 74 kg 18 (27/06/1998)
12 Kelvin Omiyo (KEN) Centre 1.83 m 98 kg 29 (29/12/1987)
13 Leslie Ochieng (KEN) Centre/Wing 1.76 m 87 kg 30 (03/03/1987)
15 Tony Onyango (KEN) Wing/Fullback 1.76 m 83 kg 25 (07/04/1991)
16 Allan Otim (RWA) Utility 1.83 m 89 kg  30 (12/09/1986)
18 John Jackson (FIJ) Prop 1.75 m 120 kg 33 (03/03/1984)
Natixis HKFC (Seed 14)

Home: Hong Kong  Players: Hong Kong  Founded: 1886

HKFC 10s: 32 (1986-2017)  Highlights: Plate Winners 1994, 2000; Bowl Winners 2007, 2011; Shield Winners 2012, 2016

Website: www.hkfcrugby.com  Facebook: HKFC-Rugby-Section

Twitter: HKFCrugby

Hosts Natixis HKFC won the fourth-tier Shield last year for their first silverware at the GFI HKFC 10s since lifting the same trophy in 2012. The entertaining win over CRFA Gladiators also stopped an unwanted losing streak after losses in the finals of the Bowl and Shield respectively in 2014 and 2015.

HKFC have competed in all 32 editions of the tournament and always enjoy strong support from the home crowd, especially on the Thursday when they traditionally make a strong run for one of the lower-tier trophies. Phil Bailey takes charge of the team for a second straight year so will look to continue his own trophy run.

Flanker Josh Afu played 17 times for Tonga (2008-14) and is a big addition to the 10s squad, having played across the world. After coming through the Reds Academy, Afu played Super Rugby for the Reds in 2008, in England for Doncaster Knights (2008-09) and Newcastle Falcons (2009-11), in France for Carcassonne (2011-12) and in Japan for Kamaishi Seawaves (2013-15). Afu, 30, is currently a Club Coaching Officer at HKFC and has played for the team since the last three months of the 2015-16 Hong Kong Premiership.

Kiwi hooker Mitch Andrews is playing his second 10s and has proved a strong addition since arriving in November 2015 from Australia, where he played for Melbourne Unicorns in the Dewar Shield and Melbourne Rising in the Australian Rugby Championship.

Former Hong Kong centre Gavin Hadley, a former Newcastle Falcons Academy and A team representative, is a regular for HKFC at the 10s, while Josh Meninga, the son of Australian rugby league legend Mal Meninga, is playing the event for the fourth straight year. Scrumhalf Jamie Lauder is also back from last year’s squad along with teenage hooker Jack Scanlon, while 18-year-old scrumhalf Henry Poon makes his event debut.

Historically one of Hong Kong’s top sides, HKFC finished fourth in the 2016-17 Premiership and beat HKCC in the Grand Championships quarter-finals before losing to eventual champions Valley in the semis.

Jersey # Player Name Position Height  Weight Age (Born)
2 Johnny McCormick-Houston (ENG) Hooker      
4 James Sawyer        
5 Paddy Cook        
6 Gavin Hadley (UK) Centre 1.81 m 95 kg 27 (07/06/1989)
7 Ben Willis (AUS) Flanker 1.82 m 87 kg 27 (07/11/1989)
8 Jason Kestrup        
10 Nate De Thierry (NZL) Flyhalf, Fullback 1.81 m 87 kg 23 (14/02/1994)
12 Ben Axten-Burrett (UK) Centre 1.75 m 95 kg 26 (01/10/1992)
13 Jon Webber (UK) Wing, Fullback 1.78 m 80 kg 28 (21/10/1988)
14 Antoine Duplan        
16 Keelan Chapman (CAN/FRA) Prop 1.80 m 121 kg 25 (12/11/1991)
17 Jack Scanlon (AUS) Hooker, Back Row 1.80 m 99 kg 19 (23/10/1997)
18 Leon Wai (HKG) Prop      
20 Jamie Lauder (UK) Scrumhalf, Flyhalf 1.83 m 82 kg 25 (18/03/1992)
21 Max Page (AUS) Scrumhalf, Flyhalf 1.77 m 82 kg 24 (15/09/1992)
22 Henry Poon (UK/CHN) Scrumhalf, Flyhalf 1.70 m 78 kg 18 (27/02/1999)
Note: For squad updates, visit www.hongkongtens.com (Teams)
CRFA Gladiators (Seed 15)

Home: China  Players: China  Founded: 1996 (CRFA)

HKFC 10s: 2 (2016-17)  Highlights: Shield runners-up 2016

Websites: rugby.sport.org.cn; www.asiarugby.com/china

Head Coach: MA Feng  Assistant Coach: WANG Zhe

Team Manager: WANG Liwei  Physio: LI Yaping

Representing the Chinese Rugby Football Association, the CRFA Gladiators return to the GFI HKFC 10s for a second year and will again bid to become the first mainland side to win silverware at the tournament.

The players all hail from the Shandong province side and 10 return from last year’s GFI HKFC 10s when a young squad impressed on their debut. Despite three defeats in Pool C, they scored a try against Penguins and two tries against both King’s College at UQ and UBB Gavekal.

After losing to eventual Bowl winners Kir Club Pyrenees in the quarter-finals, the Gladiators beat fellow debutants XBlades Rowzy Pegasi 40-24 in the Shield semis before losing 28-19 to Natixis HKFC in an entertaining final. They’re young, fit, fast and have tries in them

This year’s squad has an average age of 23 (up from 22 last year) and most of the players have international experience – 12 of them competed in last year’s Asian Sevens.

Ma Chong, 24, will captain the squad after proving a standout at last year’s GFI HKFC 10s scoring three tries and nine conversions for 33 points, putting him third overall behind Tradition YCAC’s Rocky Khan (58 points) and Penguins’ Kylem O’Donnell (38 points).

Scrumhalf Jiang Liwei – who captained the Gladiators last year – flyhalf Feng Wenru, wing Liu Huachuan and hooker Zhang Chao are also among the experienced players and all helped China finish sixth at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.

Wang Liwei, President of the CRFA and a long-time senior official in the China Golf Association, is the Team Manager.

Chinese teams have a long history at the GFI HKFC 10s. China Agricultural University (formerly Beijing Agricultural University) competed for 17 straight years from 1996 to 2012 and lost in four finals – the Plate in 1998, Bowl in 2003 and 2005, and Shield in 2006. PLA Sports Institute were Bowl runners-up in 2001, while in 2015 Shandong province exited in the Shield semis.

 

Jersey # Player (Country) Position (15s) Height  Weight Age (Date of Birth)
1 Chen Yongqiang (CHN) Loosehead Prop 1.90 m 95 kg 25 (08/01/1992)
2 Li Haitao (CHN) Loosehead Prop 1.88 m 88 kg 19 (04/12/1998)
3 Zhang Chao (CHN) Hooker 1.84 m 95 kg 27 (13/05/1990)
6 Liu Luda (CHN) Tightead Prop 1.97 m 90 kg 20 (11/10/1997)
7 Gao Yinghao (CHN) No. 4 Lock 1.86 m 85 kg 21 (08/02/1996)
8 Wang Shuoshuo (CHN) No. (4,5) Lock 1.78 m 85 kg 21 (24/11/1996)
9 Liu Junkui (CHN) No. 5 Lock 1.81 m 89 kg 27 (20/07/1990)
10 Jiang Liwei (CHN) Scrumhalf 1.78 m 85 kg 24 (20/05/1993)
11 Feng Wenru (CHN) Flyhalf 1.78 m 85 kg 25 (11/01/1992)
12 Ma Chong (CHN) (capt.) Inside Centre 1.81 m 85 kg 24 (26/08/1993)
13 Qi Changyuan (CHN) Inside Centre 1.81 m 87 kg 19 (02/01/1998)
14 Hu Zhenye (CHN) Outside Centre 1.85 m 87 kg 23 (26/08/1994)
15 Liu Huachuan (CHN) Right Wing 1.80 m 79 kg 27 (18/10/1990)
16 Shan Changshun (CHN) Right Wing 1.80 m 83 kg 21 (06/02/1996)
Devil's Advocate Silver Dragons (SRFC and SUS) (Seed 16)

Home: China  Players: International  Founded: 1881

HKFC 10s: 6 (2012-2017)  Highlights: Plate semis 2012-2016

Head Coach: Simon Pang  Team Manager: Mark Ralph

Website: www.rugbyshanghai.com  Facebook: rugbyshanghai

Twitter: rugbyshanghai  Instagram: shanghairugbyfootballclub

Devil's Advocate Silver Dragons are competing in their sixth straight GFI HKFC 10s and will again bring players from Shanghai Rugby Football Club (SRFC) and the Shanghai University of Sport (SUS). SRFC, based in northeast Shanghai, and SUS have an ongoing partnership and together run three men’s and two women’s teams in the city.

Usually one of the lower seeds at the GFI HKFC 10s, the Shanghai side haven’t progressed beyond the Plate semis on their five previous appearances. However, this year they return to Hong Kong in top form, having won the Xiamen 10s, Sino 10s, Sino 15s and Yellow Sea Cup, losing just one of the 26 games they've played since April 2016.

The 16-man squad includes eight returning players from 2016, including captain Mark McCoy, the ever-reliable Caleb Balloch and former Hong Kong flanker Renaud-Louis Chavanis. There are also some exciting additions including former Ireland U18 Alex Webb and South African maverick Corne Du Toit, who has brought flair and creativity since joining the team in September.

The touring squad is again managed by Mark Ralph, who played at the 10s for the best part of two decades (starting in 1996 as captain of Bosa Virgins) until hanging up his boots in 2015. 

'Ralphy' will be celebrating his 50th birthday this year, which will provide extra motivation for the team to give their Club President - who has dedicated so much time and effort to the club - something to cheer about at this year's GFI HKFC 10s.

Devil's Advocate Silver Dragons is the fifth different team name in six years and was also used in 2015. The others are: Devil's Own Shanghai Rugby (2016), Devil's Own Wanderers (2014), Playmore’s Devil's Own Wanderers (2013) and Playmore’s Shanghai Devils (2012). And if you notice that ‘Devil's’ is the common link, that’s due to the support of Devil's Advocate, a popular Wanchai refuelling station.

Jersey # Player (Country) Position Height  Weight Age (Date of Birth)
1 Josko ZUNIC (CRO) Prop 1.88 m 106 kg 31 (23/04/1985)
2 Philip DALLAYDAY-SIMPSON (UK) Hooker 1.78 m 83 kg 28 (19/06/1988)
3 Mark MCCOY (IRE) Flanker 1.90 m 96 kg 29 (04/04/1988)
4 Caleb BALLOCH (CAN) Flanker 1.84 m 95 kg 31 (19/091985)
5 Raphael LAUTRETTE (FRA) Flanker 1.84 m 85 kg 25 (10/09/1991)
6 Joshua LANE (UK) Wing 1.81 m 87 kg 26 (31/05/1990)
7 Alex WEBB (UK) Scrumhalf 1.82 m 80 kg 23 (24/01/1994)
8 Matthew HOLDING (UK) Centre 1.84 m 87 kg 27 (15/03/1990)
9 Corne DU TOIT (RSA) Fullback 1.87 m 87 kg 29 (26/05/1987)
10 Tommy KWOK (HKG) Wing 1.83 m 87 kg 26 (28/08/1991)
11 Renaud-Louis CHAVANIS (FRA) Lock 1.85 m 96 kg 36 (22/11/1980)
12 Felipe CARCAMO (CHI) Flanker 1.83 m 87 kg 33 (04/04/1984)
13 Paul SAUNAL (FRA) Centre 1.77 m 89 kg 30 (12/11/1986)
14 Cameron MASSE (NZL) Centre 1.85 m 87 kg 24 (01/09/1992)
15 Luke TAYLOR (UK) Scrumhalf 1.69 m 75 kg 26 (27/07/1990)
16 David Lloreda CALERO (COL) No. 8 1.80 m 98 kg 28 (28/01/1989)