Photo credit: HKRU
The Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC) have been rigorously whipping themselves into match fitness over the pre-season, perhaps only having to remind themselves of last season's semi-final elimination at the hands of Valley to dispel the slightest hint of fatigue.
While second-rower Josh Afu and Hong Kong-capped Dan Falvey have left for Queensland and England respectively, HKFC have lined up a host of replacements including lock Patrick Jenkinson, in addition to Jack Nielsen from HKCC, former Stade Rouennais winger Marno Meyer and London Welsh utility back Glyn Hughes.
Photo credit: SCMP
Coach Phil Bailey appears to have a knack for assimilating new players to the squad; former Welsh international Tom Isaacs and Barbarian Will Munro from Australia both made instant impacts upon donning HKFC colours last season.
Furthermore, the Australian can look forward to the return of Henry Williams and Ben Willis, both of whom were sidelined for majority of last season due to injury
"We are still building. We are pushing a lot of young guys through and we just want to continually improve," Bailey said.
"We have been doing a lot of high-intensity work and our strength and conditioning guys have been doing a really good job of trying to get more output from the players."
"More explosiveness is what we're looking for and that effort-on-effort stuff"
With an enviable backbone of youthful exuberance and experience in place, Bailey certainly has the recipe and ingredients to build a potent HKFC squad capable of unsettling any Premiership side, perhaps even with a cautious hint of title-winning credentials.
The Hong Kong Football Club face finalists Kowloon RFC on 23rd September.