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Stage Set for Return of World’s Best Rugby Tens

HONG KONG, 27 March 2023 – Talent from around the world descended on Hong Kong today for the official opening of the 35th edition of the Tradition HKFC 10s rugby tournament which kicks off at Hong Kong Football Club this Wednesday.

Billed the World’s Best tens, the tournament will once again blend emerging talent with international experience in a two-day festival of fast-running, hard-hitting rugby. The competition sees 12 men’s and five women’s teams battle it out on pitch, as the international rugby world once again turns its attention to Hong Kong’s celebrated Happy Valley.

Rochelle ‘Rocky’ Clark, who with 137 national appearances is one the most capped ‘Red Roses’ (England Rugby) players of all time, is in Hong Kong as both coach of RKS Legal Samurai and Official Tournament Ambassador. She said:

“I’m absolutely delighted to be here. This is first women’s tournament which is huge for the women’s game and just to be able to represent Samurai as coach and putting the boots on as well is a huge honour. It’s going to be a brilliant week, making lots of memories, but I’m very proud to be one of the first women to play in the tournament.

“The team’s shaping up really nicely. There’s a lot of youngsters with a lot of speed. I’m struggling to keep up! There’s so much talent out there, they’re a really good bunch. They’re pretty electric in training and can’t wait to see them in competition. It’s looking good.”

Former England International, Nick Easter, who arrives in Hong Kong as coach of Samurai RFC Warriors, said:

On Hong Kong:

“We’re here to have fun and enjoy Hong Kong and what the city has to offer outside the rugby but the buy-in and focus has been excellent. The guys have a thirst to learn and want to absorb it all. The first day is going to be critical.”

On the Tournament:

“From the perspective of a 15s coach, you see more of a player in tens than you do in sevens. More collisions, the breakdown is hotly contested and there’s the set-piece part as well. But you’ve got to make decisions and execute well, both defensively and attack. It’s a great opportunity to showcase people’s talent. You’re always involved in the game. There’s no hiding place in tens rugby so the guys need to step up and show what they’ve got from an attitude point of view.”

On the team:

“Samurai have got scouts looking at young talent all around the world which has grown massively over the last 25 years since it started up. They don’t pay, so it’s always an invitational team with the honour and pride of playing for Samurai but it’s what you get out of it. Different coaches, different models of tournament and playing with those players all around the world. So we’ve got Aussies, Kiwis, Samoans, Fijians, some Welsh lads and a couple of English as well, so very diverse. The age demographic is typically 19 - 24. We’ve got a bunch of senior older heads there as well, guys that have been part of Samurai before, love it and want to help out and impart their knowledge in the short amount of time you have for preparation.

“In the past, before they got hot, they’re had the likes of Beauden Barrett and Sam Cane playing for them who have gone on to represent their country with 50 caps for a tier-one nation. It gives them an opportunity. From a coaching point of view it’s great to work with them because you don’t know where they’re going to go onto.”

On coaching:

“You’ve got to let them find their own way. The challenge is to find cohesion and trust in such a short space of time. What name do they want to be known by on the field - one syllable. We then play a bit of walking touch before stepping it up a bit to get them to understand how they play off each other, what certain players like, what lines of running they like and then you bring a bit of structure to it. For some they like the structure because it gives them clarity, other more expressive players just want the ball in space, but you need to find a happy medium.”

The tournament returns to Hong Kong for the first time since 2019. HKFC Chairman, Neil Jensen, said:

“First of all, it’s a relief. It’s a delight. There’s been an immense number of challenges and false dawns over the past few years. It’s been the same for everybody, but we had to make this happen. If we hadn’t, we might have lost the tournament for good and with it, 35 years of history.

“We’ve had some huge challenges, with a new committee, with funding and so on but on Thursday, when this stadium’s full it will be one of those ‘wow’ moments and of course it’s a no-brainer to stage it. But to get everyone energised again has been the challenge. It’s great to get it back, not just for the club, not just for rugby, but for the whole of Hong Kong. For people visiting for the Sevens, it just makes the week.”

The 2023 Tradition HKFC 10s marks the 35th edition of Hong Kong Football Club’s flagship rugby event, considered by many to be the world’s leading invitational rugby tens tournament.

Tradition HKFC 10s is a two-day, fast-running rugby festival taking place at Hong Kong Football Club from 29th to 30th March. Matches are 10 minutes each way and scheduled back-to-back throughout the day. Gates open at 8.30am. Tickets cost $120 per day and are available to buy on the gate, at and

Tradition, a world leader in professional brokerage activities, has signed a three-year title sponsor agreement starting for the 2023 tournament, while other sponsors include Natixis (Gold Sponsor), AIA, Allied World, Samurai, Taikoo Place and Mourant (Silver Sponsors).

Information and Photo source : Tradition HKFC 10s


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