Star-studded teams from across the world including 2013 champions Penguins, Samurai and 2014 finalists YCAC are set to compete in the 30th GFI HKFC Tens at Hong Kong Football Club from 25-26 March
BGC Asia Pacific Dragons have confirmed they will return to Hong Kong to defend their title at this year’s GFI HKFC Tens, held 25-26 March at the Hong Kong Football Club.
With some of the world’s leading touring rugby teams descending on Happy Valley in pursuit of the Bill Burgess Cup, BGC Asia Pacific Dragons will face a fierce fight to become the first team to retain the Cup since Aliens in 2010.
Last year’s beaten finalists YCAC of Japan will return along with the top seeds from 2014, Penguins. Penguins, Champions in 2013, will be keen to make amends after a disappointing showing last year when they were knocked out of the Cup at the quarter-final stage by another team returning this year, Samurai.
“This will be our ninth time playing in the Tens, and we are definitely looking to improve on our performance from last year,” commented Penguins manager, Craig Brown.
“We currently have two players from last year confirmed in Willie Walker and Willie Hafu, who will be central to our team philosophy. There are always some very talented teams in the tournament so we will need to work hard to be in contention come the knock out stages. We are all looking forward to the tournament as the HKFC put on a great show in a fantastic venue.”
Alongside the returning teams a number of sides will be making their first appearance at the event, including PNG Crocs from Papua New Guinea and the Allied World Forces Exiles from Wales.
Closer to home, the Hong Kong-based Scottish Exiles will be looking for a successful tournament having recruited former Scotland international Dan Parks into their ranks. He will be joined by several Scotland sevens players as they look to improve on their Plate semi-final from last year.
Sixteen teams will compete in four-round robin pools on day one before progress into the Cup, Plate, Bowl, and Shield competitions on day two.
GFI Group return for their 10th year as title sponsor of the GFI HKFC Tens and will be joined by fellow sponsors, Allied World, DHL, Swire Properties, Q-Net, Natixis and Fosters.
Since GFI came on board as title sponsor, the tournament has attracted rugby legends Joe Roff and Toutai Kefu (both 2006), Jonah Lomu (2007), Brian Lima (2008), Bobby Skinstad (2009), Waisale Serevi (2010), George Gregan and Christian Cullen (2011), Mils Muliaina (2012) Justin Marshall (2011 and 2012), and last year’s wining captain, George Smith.
Now in its 30th year, the GFI HKFC Tens is sanctioned by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) and is held on the Wednesday and Thursday before the world-famous Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.