Five on debut in Hong Kong squad for Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens

「國泰航空/滙豐香港國際七人欖球賽」 香港隊五子首度披甲上陣

Alessandro Nardoni, Harry Sayers, Pierce Mackinlay-West, Liam Doherty, Mak Kwai-Chung in line for first HK7s

虎拿東尼、薩耶斯、麥堅尼韋斯 、杜靴迪、麥季聰處子登場

[Hong Kong, 28 October 2022]: The Hong Kong Rugby Union has announced the squad for the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2022 (4-6 Nov. at the Hong Kong Stadium). It is Hong Kong’s first home tournament since the Sevens was last held here in April, 2019.

Throughout the challenges of the pandemic, Hong Kong have held serve as Asia Rugby Sevens champions. The squad opened their title defence with a strong performance at the first Asia Rugby Sevens Series event last weekend in Thailand, claiming the cup after convincing wins over rivals South Korea and Japan.

The HKRU management team of Paul John, head of sevens, and men’s sevens coach Jevon Groves have kept their faith in that squad, retaining the group en masse for the final 13 heading into next weekend’s competition.

“It was a fairly easy squad to name after a very good performance in Bangkok. It would have been very difficult to drop any of the players given their performances as individuals, and as a team. But with the tight turnaround in tournaments, it also made sense. With those players coming off of a tournament, we felt they had the consistency we need. These guys are primed to play.”

The group includes 10 players from September’s Rugby World Cup Sevens, Hong Kong’s last international tournament outside of Asia, excluding captain Max Woodward who missed that eventt with injury but made an impactful return in Thailand. The uncompromising Woodward earns his 5th Hong Kong Sevens selection, and his 4th as captain, a day after celebrating his 32nd birthday.

Hong Kong’s most capped Sevens player, Salom Yiu-Kam-shing, marks his 11th Hong Kong Sevens in November, and will potentially extend his appearance record to 12 when the sevens return to Hong Kong in April.

“Being able to bring Salom into the group fresh is fantastic. He adds so much experience, speed and energy for us. We all know what he can do with ball in hand and his inclusion gives us even more options in the outside backs, who performed very well in Thailand. It is always good to be able to add another threat,” Groves added.

Adding experience and nous to the group is Alex McQueen, who earns his 8th Hong Kong Sevens after making his debut in 2009 and taking a break from his playing career to train as a pilot for Cathay Pacific, co-title sponsors of the Hong Kong Sevens. Scrumhalf Lee Ka-to marks his 7th Sevens next weekend, while prop Michael Coverdalemakes a 6th Stadium appearance.


Partly because of the lengthy pandemic-enforced gap between events, the squad includes five players making their home sevens debuts. Alessandro Nardoni, Liam Doherty and Pierce Mackinlay-West have all emerged through age grade levels to cement places in the senior seven, while Mak Kwai-Chung made his first senior appearance for Hong Kong just last weekend.

Harry Sayers is also set for a somewhat surprising Hong Kong Sevens debut. The attacking wing narrowly missed out in 2019 before making his Hong Kong debut in the next weekend’s Singapore Sevens. His try-scoring capabilities out wide have since earned him a place in the team, where he adds to the attacking threat of Denmark and Yiu.

Further underscoring the time that has elapsed between Hong Kong tournaments is the fact that Seb Brien and Russ Webb, who had only made two previous appearances in the Hong Kong Sevens, are now senior leaders in the squad, having most recently co-captained at the Rugby World Cup Sevens. They will mark their 3rd Hong Kong tournaments in November after debuting in 2018.

Groves highlighted those two, captain Woodward and scrumhalf Cado Lee for their impact. “These are the leaders in our team. When they perform the whole squad performs and they aren’t recognised enough for the impact they make on the group. Coaching in Thailand was easy for us with the way they took ownership on and off the field,” said Groves.

Another player selected from the class of 2018 is Max Denmark, who currently leads the Asian series try scoring table with eight tries from five games in Bangkok.

Now all that can spoil Hong Kong’s homecoming party is playing in the pool of death next weekend. The draw has done the hosts no favours with defending World Series champions Australia, New Zealand - winners of 11 cups in Hong Kong; and the raw physical challenge of Samoa lying in wait.

The team are embracing that challenge, said Groves.

“Our expectation is to go out and be extremely competitive in front of our home crowds. The pressure isn’t really on us. We want the players to enjoy the experience as it has been a long time coming. We just want to focus on doing what we are good at, and playing with confidence. It’s about working hard and being consistent, than that enjoyment will come from that.

“We are playing three of the best teams on the Series. Now our challenge is can we back up that performance from Thailand, against the best teams in the world? We are challenging ourselves to not only maintain the performance from Thailand but take it to the next level,” Groves added.

Hong Kong squad for Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens (4-6 Nov.):

· Max WOODWARD (Capt.),

· Seb BRIEN;

· Mike COVERDALE;

· Max DENMARK;

· Liam DOHERTY*;

· Cado LEE Ka-To;

· Alex McQUEEN;

· Pierce MACKINLAY-WEST*;

· MAK Kwai-chung*;

· Alessandro NARDONI*;

· Harry SAYERS*;

· Russ WEBB,

· Salom YIU Kam-shing.

*Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens debut


Information and Photo Source : Elite Step Asia Limited / Hong Kong Rugby Union


[2022年10月28日,香港]: 香港欖球總會(欖總)今日公佈2022年「國泰航空/滙豐香港國際七人欖球賽」(11月4日至6日假香港大球場舉行)的港隊名單。這也是港隊自2019年4月「七欖」後的首個主場賽事。

港隊挾「亞洲七人欖球系列賽」盟主之名克服疫情挑戰。上週末以凌厲演出勇奪系列賽泰國站冠軍,包括在韓國和日本身上取得壓倒性勝利,為衞冕之旅打好基礎。

七人隊總教練莊保羅(Paul John)及男子隊教頭高勳(Jevon Groves)對該陣容繼續保持信心,包括麥季聰(上週末取得首頂港隊喼帽),再獲欽點加入下週末的13人名單中。

高勳說:「球員們在泰國的精彩演出令今次點兵相對容易。眾人的表現在伯仲之間,令教練團很難放棄任何人。但由於賽程頻密,選人方面都變得順理成章。球隊和球員皆需要寓賽於操,我們認為已達到所需的穩定性,而球員們也蓄勢待發。」

這陣容還包括10名曾於9月時參加「七人欖球世界盃」的戰將,亦是港隊最近的亞洲區以外的賽事,而名單中也見到因傷錯過「世界盃」的隊長禾獲特(Max Woodward)的名字,他剛在泰國站復出,表現也不錯。

鬥志頑強的禾獲特將是五度入選「香港國際七人欖球賽」陣容和第4次被委以隊長重任,一天前他剛慶祝32歲生日。

港隊中喼帽最多的姚錦成將於11月第11次參加「香港國際七人欖球賽」,希望他在明年4月的 「七欖」繼續刷新紀錄。

高勳續說:「將姚錦成加入新班底中是妙不可言。他為球隊帶來豐富經驗、速度和活力。我們知道他的本領,而且他為後衞線的調配帶來更多選擇。他將與在泰國表現突出的丹馬克和薩耶斯並肩作戰。能在邊路發動更多威脅是好事。」

之前因接受國泰機師訓練而短暫告別港隊的麥堅力 (Alex McQueen)自2009年首戰後,今次將是第8次於「香港國際七人欖球賽」上陣。傳接鋒李卡度亦將7度參戰,高凡迪爾(Michael Coverdale)也將第6次亮相香港大球場。

疫情大流行導致的長期阻滯,成為造就3名經驗較少的球員入選這13人名單的部份原因,令他們有機會初戰「香港國際七人欖球賽」。前港青成員虎拿東尼(Alessandro Nardoni)、杜靴迪(Liam Doherty)和麥堅尼韋斯(Pierce Mackinlay-West)皆獲得青睞,以及上週末首次成為大港腳的麥季聰。

翼鋒薩耶斯(Harry Sayers)也準備好為「香港國際七人欖球賽」初戰帶來驚喜。這位進攻型翼鋒差點入選2019年大軍,但在隨後週末的「新加坡七人賽」便獲得首頂港隊喼帽,其邊路的得分能力讓他之後一直穩佔隊中一席位,與隊友丹馬克和姚錦成的配合如魚得水。

「七欖」時光似箭,拜恩(Seb Brien)和韋兆新(Russ Webb)已屬隊中的師兄輩,二人已參加兩屆「香港國際七人欖球賽」,亦曾以雙隊長身份在「七人欖球世界盃」領軍。

高勳讚揚二人、隊長禾獲特和李卡度的領導才華並道:「他們是球隊的領袖,只要他們發揮水準,球隊也自然順風順水。他們對隊內的影響非筆墨所能形容。他們在泰國挺身而出令教練工作事半功倍。」

另一位「2018年生」的丹馬克(Max Denmark)也榜上有名,他在泰國站5戰中達陣8次,暫時在達陣榜上傲視同儕。

下週末「死亡之組」可能破壞派對氣氛。幸運之神並未眷顧主場的港隊抽籤結果,同組有系列賽盟主澳洲、11屆香港站銀盃得主新西蘭、以及體型強壯的薩摩亞。

高勳表示球隊對挑戰磨拳擦掌,他說:「 我們期待在主場球迷前火力全開。我們沒有壓力包袱,被看低一線反而更有利。我們希望專注發揮所長和表現自信。一切全賴努力不懈和保持穩定,這樣好事自然來。」

「我們將與世界系列賽中最強的三支球隊交手。我們的挑戰是否能挾泰國的強勢來與世界列強一戰?我們更要突破自己超越泰國的表現。」

「國泰航空/滙豐香港國際七人欖球賽」 (11月4-6日)香港隊名單:

· 禾獲特 (隊長)、

· 拜恩、

· 高凡迪爾、

· 丹馬克、

· 杜靴迪*、

· 李卡度、

· 麥堅力、

· 麥堅尼韋斯*、

· 麥季聰*、

· 虎拿當尼*、

· 薩耶斯*、

· 韋兆新 、

· 姚錦成

*首次參加「國泰航空/滙豐香港國際七人欖球賽」


資料及相片來源 : Elite Step Asia Limited / Hong Kong Rugby Union

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