Photo Credit: Rabbit in Black
Hong Kong Scottish have traditionally been one of the strongest contenders in the Premiership and will be out for blood in the upcoming season, after having had to settle for a disappointing third-place finish in the final round.
While the departures of flanker Ewan Miller, lock Lars Morrice and the Ramage brothers having depleted the Scottish ranks, coach Craig Hammond can turn to reinforcements including prop Ashley Hyde, hooker Shea Turner, back rower Sam Vaevae from New Zealand, as well as Australian Loveni Enari.
The signs are certainly encouraging, with Turner adapting well by playing a key role in the club's Premiership Sevens triumph last month and Hammond believes that his charges are in a strong position to put an end to Valley's 5-year Premiership monopoly.
Photo Credit: Hong Kong Scottish RFC
"We haven't lost many, but losing Ewan, our seven, who has gone back to Scotland was a bit disappointing as he was one of our standout players last year," said the former Nottingham captain.
"Otherwise we're not too far off. They [the recruits] have been here for a few weeks and they've gone quite well."
In addition, Hammond believes the overall quality of last season's performances can set the stage for a strong season.
"We had a few blunt discussions within the team at the end of last season about what went well and where we need to improve."
"We've got to get off to a good start. We've got a few home games to start with so it's putting all that stuff from the end of last season on to the field."
Hong Kong Scottish kick off their season on 23rd September against the Hong Kong Cricket Club.