Fong sisters assemble as Hong Kong prepare for 2021 World Cup

May 23, 2019

Photo credit: HKFC Women's Rugby 

 

With the cancellation of the 2019 Asia Rugby Championship, the Hong Kong national team are set to play Fiji and Samoa in a triangular tournament over the coming week. 

 

Hong Kong, who are midway through their 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup Qualification cycle, will play Fiji on Friday, 24 May, (8.00pm HKT) and Samoa on Tuesday, 28 May (7.00pm HKT).

 

After becoming the first Hong Kong team to qualify for a Rugby World Cup in 2017, the squad is intent on repeating this success and going even further.  

 

To achieve this, they will either need to win next year’s Asian championship outright for direct entry, or finish second to qualify for a four-team repechage - the winner of which will secure a ticket in the World Cup.

 

In the latter scenario,  it is likely they would face either Fiji or Samoa - making the upcoming tests  an ideal opportunity for the team to prepare on multiple levels according to coach Jo Hull. 

 

Photo credit: Hong Kong Rugby Union 

 

"We have managed to build some depth in the programme now and this is a great chance to get more exposure at international level," said Hull. 

 

“With no ARC this year, we wanted to take the opportunity to play teams outside Asia. Previously, we have been touring in Europe, playing Spain and Wales, which was a massive step up for us."

 

"Now we are looking for competition with teams like Fiji and Samoa, for their physicality, but also because it leads in to the World Cup qualifier."

 

Chief amongst those objectives is continued development of a growing but young squad and increasing opportunities for the players, with nine new caps included in the tour to Fiji: Riva Brill, Abigail Chan, Chan Hui-tung, Rachel Fong, Jasmine Fung Hoi-ching, Iris Lam, Liu Yuen-ting, Zoe Smith and Wong Kai-ying.  

 

Photo credit: Hong Kong Rugby Union  

 

Starting from the bench is Hong Kong Football Club's Rachel Fong, whose teammate and older sister Rose Hopewell-Fong will start at fly-half, with the veteran making her highly-anticipated return to the international fold since becoming a mother over a year ago. 

 

“We have seen them train, play at club level, and in Asia after Singapore. Now we need to challenge them at the elite international level. These girls have been in the programme for a few years now.

 

"This is a natural environment for them and a chance to step up to the next level and they deserve the opportunity,” Hull added.

 

 

 

Hong Kong Squad v Fiji: 1. LAU Nga Wun, 2. Karen SO, 3. CHEUNG Shuk Han, 4. CHOW Mei-nam, 5. TSANG Ching-man, 6. Riva BRILL, 7. Winnie SIU, 8. CHAN Ka-yan, 9. Jessica HO, 10. Rose HOPEWELL-FONG, 11. Zoe SMITH, 12. Colleen TJOSVOLD, 13. Amy PYLE, 14. Bena YU, 15. Abigail CHAN, 16. Iris LAM, 17. Vincci LEUNG, 18. CHAN Hiu-Tung, 19. PUN Wai-yan, 20. WONG Kai-ying, 21. Rachel FONG, 22. LIU Yuen-ting, 23. Kelsie BOUTTLE

 

Hong Kong Touring Squad: Kelsie BOUTTLE, Riva BRILL*, CHAN Hiu-tung*, CHAN Ka-yan, CHEUNG Shuk-han, CHOW Mei-nam, LAU Nga-wun, Iris LAM Tim-yeung*, Vincci LEUNG Wing-yi, Charlotte MYRANS, PUN Wai-yan, Winnie SIU Wing-ni, Dr Karen SO Hoi-ting (Captain), TSANG Ching-man, WONG Kai-ying*, YIP Cho-kwan, Abigail CHAN*, RACHEL FONG*, Jessica HO Wai-on, Rose HOPEWELL-FONG, FUNG Hoi-ching*, LIU Yuen-ting*, Amy PYLE, Zoe SMITH*, Colleen TJOSVOLD, Bena YU Bo-yan.

 

* New caps

 

 

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