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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong Squad Selected For Women’s World Cup Debut

Hong Kong Squad Selected For Women’s World Cup Debut

Hong Kong Women’s head coach Jo Hill has confirmed the 28-woman squad selected to travel to Ireland next month for Hong Kong’s first appearance at a 15-a-side Rugby World Cup.

Hong Kong will depart on Friday, August 4 for Dublin, where they will contest a challenging pool, playing 2014 runners-up Canada, four-time champions New Zealand and Six Nations side Wales, before travelling to Belfast for the final rounds.

“We are going to use every woman in the squad in Ireland, and that is a key to our larger goal and mission – to ensure that our first World Cup appearance isn’t our last, and to create a legacy for the game back home in Hong Kong,” explained head coach Jo Hull.

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“Qualification for the World Cup is a good start, but our objectives transcend wins and losses in terms of creating our legacy. We want to inspire more girls to take up rugby after our appearance.

“We also want to change the perception of the Women’s game in Hong Kong and to show how tough you have to be, how dedicated and how resilient you have to be – rather than giving in or walking away when it gets tough. The players selected are a key to crafting that legacy.”

The Hong Kong management have compiled a squad with a healthy mix of experience and potential, including some emerging and national age-grade players, as Hull looks to leverage the Rugby World Cup as a transformative event for Hong Kong Women’s Rugby.

“There are not too many surprises in the final squad. We have gone with our experience and some of our more physical players that can withstand the challenge of a World Cup, but we are really excited to see the number of young players who have raised their hands during the campaign,” she added, singling out emerging players like scrum half Chloe Mak, out-half Lee Tsz-ting, flanker Agnes Chan and 18-year old centre Kelsie Bouttle.

“These players have really come into their own and are improving every game. We have rewarded that potential and it is a fantastic opportunity for them to shine. The senior players will need to lead that culture-building in Ireland, while the younger players are the bridge to take this spirit back to their schools and National Age-Grade team-mates.”

The ever-reliable Chow Mei-nam (pictured above) will captain the squad from the second row. The 29-year old physical education teacher is relishing the opportunity ahead for both herself and her side.

“My ambition is to be a world class lock and the World Cup will provide a stage for me to try and achieve that. By the end of the tournament, I want the other teams to know about Hong Kong Rugby and respect us,” she said.

“That’s my main goal, earning that respect on the pitch. I just want to let the world know that the Hong Kong team is coming and trying hard to secure our spot on the world stage.”

Mei-nam is joined by a core of experienced campaigners, particularly in the forwards, with a selection for former captain Royce Chan. The World Cup selection is fitting reward for Chan’s 13 years of sterling service to Hong Kong Rugby.

Amelie Seure, Christy Cheng Ka-chi and Christine Gordon add further experience in the pack, and provide a steady hand at the tiller alongside relative newcomers in flanker Agnes Chan and lock Chan Ka-yan.

The back-line is anchored by centre and vice-captain Adrienne Garvey, as well as other experienced players in out-half/full-back Rose Hopewell-Fong and Sevens squad members Natasha Olson-Thorne, Aggie Poon Pak-yan and Colleen Tjosvold in the back-three.

Emerging players among the backs include two young scrum halves, the 22-year-old Chloe Mak and Jessica Ho Wai-on (25) (pictured above), with professional Sevens athlete Lindsay Varty adding experience in the half-back position. The 21-year-old ‘BB’ Lee Tsz-ting has been included at out-half as she looks to add to her eight caps, with former England Academy player Hopewell-Fong also capable of playing at number 10 and anywhere across the back-line.

The youngest player in the squad is centre Bouttle at just 18. She only came into the training panel in May after impressing in her first season of Premiership rugby and at national age-grade level. The Dublin-bound selection includes a number of full-time athletes from Hong Kong’s Sevens programme which operates out of the Hong Kong Sports Institute.

#WRWC2017 Team Profile: Hong Kong

WRWC 2017 Fixtures:

Pool A –

Canada v Hong Kong, Billings Park, UCD, 5.15pm, Wednesday, August 9
New Zealand v Hong Kong, Billings Park, UCD, 12pm, Sunday, August 13
Wales v Hong Kong, UCD Bowl, 5.15pm, Thursday, August 17

For more on the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup, visit the tournament website – www.rwcwomens.com. Buy your match tickets for #WRWC2017 now on www.ticketmaster.co.uk/wrwc2017 and www.ticketmaster.ie/wrwc2017.

HONG KONG WRWC 2017 Squad – Backs (13): Adrienne Garvey (Valley) (vice-capt), Chong Ka-yan (Gai Wu), Laurel Chor Lik-fung (Valley), Kelsie Bouttle (Valley/ICHK), Jessica Ho Wai-on (USRC Tigers), Rose Hopewell-Fong Siu-lan (HKFC), Lau Sze-wa (Valley), Lee Tsz-ting (Gai Wu/HKBU), Chloe Mak Ho-yee (Kowloon), Natasha Olson-Thorne (USRC Tigers), Aggie Poon Pak-yan (Gai Wu), Colleen Tjosvold (Valley), Lindsay Varty (USRC Tigers).

Forwards (15): Chow Mei-nam (Gai Wu) (capt), Chan Ka-yan (Gai Wu), Royce Chan Leong-sze (HKFC), Agnes Chan Tsz-ching (Tai Po Dragons/HKBU), Christy Cheng Ka-chi (Gai Wu), Jasmine Cheung Shuk-han (Valley), Christine Gordon (Kowloon), Tammy Lau Nga-wun (Gai Wu), Lee Ka-shun (Gai Wu), Pun Wai-yan (Gai Wu/EdUHK), Amelie Seure (Valley), Winnie Siu Wing-ni (USRC Tigers), Karen So Hoi-ting (Valley), Tsang Sin-yan (Kowloon), Wong Yuen-shan (USRC Tigers/EdUHK).