An interview with Hong Kong Rugby League's trailblazers

November 3, 2017

Lung (pictured first from right) and Fairleigh are set to make history on November 4th in Hong Kong's first-ever Rugby League test match against Japan.

 

We caught up with two key figures behind Hong Kong's venture into Rugby League, Ringo Lung and head coach Jason Fairleigh, in their final training session at Happy Valley before their clash with Japan at King's Park to find out how prepared they are, their thoughts on Japan and what it means to write themselves into the history books. 

 

Watch the video: Famous faces from the world of Rugby League send the boys and all involved a special message prior to the big match!

 

Jason Fairleigh, Head Coach:

 

Q: You've just had your last training session before the big game. How prepared are the squad?

 

"The boys have come along really well in the last six weeks of training, where we've been training two days a week. Many of them usually play a lot of Union and not a lot of League, but League is a very simple game to learn."

 

"We've been training really well so we're very well structured now and everyone knows their roles in the team, so they shouldn't have a problem playing on Saturday night." 

 

Q: What will be your approach to the game on Saturday night? 

 

"I don't know too much about Japan but I know they're quite a small side and we're quite big, so we're going to try to dominate them in the middle with our forwards, getting some offloads and our quick players on the ball. Hopefully we'll score a few tries and get on top early." 

 

 

Ringo Lung, Hooker:

 

Q: What does it mean to be chosen to represent Hong Kong?

 

"It's a really huge honour, not just because it's representing Hong Kong playing international rugby. but because we get the opportunity to be the first. Hopefully, we'll be able to do something special for the fans out there on Saturday."

 

Q: How much do you know about your upcoming opponents, Japan? 

 

"We know that they've been playing for quite a long time now; League's been in Japan for at least over a decade. We've seen some videos of them and it's hard to gauge, but obviously it's our first game as well and we're going to focus on what we can do."

 

Q: What are some of the strengths in the Hong Kong side? 

 

"We've got some big lumps in the forwards, but then again it's hard to say since we don't know too much about them, but we will focus on implementing our own plan and see how it goes." 

 

Q: You've got home advantage and Hong Kong will be an unknown force. How would it feel for that to count towards a debut win?

 

"For us it's a really special occasion. To think that only 3 to 4 years ago there wasn't any Rugby League in Hong Kong, so coming from nothing to now having an international game is a really big first step for us on our journey." 

 

"Next year, we'll have more internationals and the 2018 Emerging Nations World Championship, so to start off with a win would be great." 

 

"However, what's most important is to set a foundation for what we want this shirt to mean, to show passion and commitment. If we can deliver a win for the home crowd then yeah, that'll be awesome!"

 

The Hong Kong Squad:

 

 

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