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
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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.”