Monday, 09 July 2012 08:34
Thursday July 5, 2012
Waratahs Rugby teams up with Hong Kong Rugby Football Union
A new arrangement between Waratahs Rugby and the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union will see both parties benefit from a long term joint venture, Waratahs Rugby announced today.
Made possible by the involvement of HSBC, major partner to both organisations, the agreement is aimed at helping Hong Kong Rugby Football Union develop its rugby operations and will also further strengthen the Waratahs Rugby brand in Asia.
Said Waratahs Rugby CEO Jason Allen, "We have been working alongside the HKRFU on a number of levels for some time.
"There are great synergies between our businesses and we are delighted to be able to formalise our arrangement. This is the first year of what we hope to be a longstanding and beneficial relationship for both parties."
Last month, three of Hong Kong's potential future rugby stars spent the week in Sydney on the first leg of a three-part initiative between the two parties. Cado Lee (20), Kenneth Wong Kit-leung (19) and Terry Tsang Kai-cheuk (20) joined the HSBC Waratahs in the Super Rugby training environment to develop their athletic and rugby skills.
The three players have all come through the HKRFU Academy program and have been identified as players to watch in the future. The three were accompanied by HKRFU Women's Sevens coach and Player Development Manager Kane Jury, whose task is to maximize the benefits of this unique opportunity for Hong Kong's aspiring players of the future.
Part of the national 15- and seven-a-side programs, 20-year-old scrum half Cado Lee said of his experience, "It has been an amazing experience, I have learnt a lot from training with the Waratahs. The guys are very dynamic and top class all round players - it has been great to learn from them, hopefully my skills will improve as a result of the week's program."
Andrea de Vincentiis, HSBC Head of Rugby Sponsorship, said, "This is a wonderful opportunity for the three upcoming Hong Kong players. The HSBC Waratahs are one of the best teams in Australia with a number of international players. The week was a testing week for the three youngsters but it will help show them what it will take to become a world class Rugby player.
"HSBC is the proud sponsor of both the Waratahs and the Hong Kong Rugby teams and we are pleased to be able to bring these two teams together in a program that will help further improve the competitiveness of Hong Kong Rugby."
HKRFU Head of Performance and National Coach Dai Rees added, "The week was a heck of an experience for the players. With only a short time on the ground, we asked the Waratahs coaching team to provide an intensive experience with a focus on skills development.
"We are excited that these three players had an opportunity to further hone their skills and develop their potential but, equally, we are pleased that the boys enjoyed a very unique personal experience that delivers on the HKRFU's aim to make Rugby a value-added game for local youth," said Rees.
Heavily involved in the process was HSBC Waratahs Assistant Coach, Scott Bowen, who said of the partnership, "As well as specialist rugby skill development, the players benefitted from team sessions which enhanced their understanding and game awareness, as well as improving their individual and unit skills.
"Through access to the HSBC Waratahs experts, the players also receive tuition on strength and conditioning, speed, nutrition and injury prevention, which combined to develop individual development programs appropriate to their specific needs."
Cado Lee was joined by Terry Tsang, a 20-year-old tight-head prop from the Hong Kong Development squad and 19-year-old winger, Kenneth Wong, who has already represented Hong Kong at U20 level. During their trip, the aspiring international players also enjoyed the opportunity to meet HSBC Ambassador George Gregan, spending a morning with the Wallaby star at his Sydney cafe, GG Espresso.
The experience was also uniquely fulfilling for Tsang Kai-cheuk who has never before been outside of Hong Kong.
"I am thrilled to have the chance to train alongside one of the world's top rugby teams in the HSBC Waratahs. I want to thank the HKRFU and HSBC Waratahs for giving me this opportunity to not just improve my rugby skills but also to broaden my personal horizons. I think this is what playing rugby in Hong Kong is all about, it really gives local players a chance to see another side of life," said Tsang.
Further coach placement will help HKRFU fast track the development of top coaches through week-long visits that will see them observe the HSBC Waratahs during the Super Rugby season. As the HSBC Waratahs prepare to host the table-topping Brumbies in their final home match of the season, Dai Rees (High Performance Manager) and Nathan Stewart (National Conditioning Manager) are spending the week with the coaching team, gaining invaluable Super Rugby experience for the betterment of Rugby in Hong Kong.
You can watch a video of the players' week long experience here on TahTV, the HSBC Waratahs' YouTube channel.
About Hong Kong Rugby Football Union
Founded in 1952, the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union is a member of the International Rugby Board and a founding member of the Asian Rugby Football Union. The HKRFU is committed to developing rugby in Hong Kong and throughout Asia. The HKRFU is the organizer of the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens and the only international rugby union to have hosted two Rugby World Cup Sevens events (1997 and 2005). Apart from organising two Bledisloe Cup matches in 2008 and 2010, the HKRFU will be hosting the first-ever British & Irish Lions game played in Hong Kong in 2013. Domestically the HKRFU senior XVs league features more than 70 men's and women's club sides each season, as well as leagues and tournaments for tertiary, school, colts and mini rugby to promote and develop rugby at all levels locally.
About HSBC and Rugby
HSBC is a long-term investor in Rugby in Asia and around the world. As well as being the title sponsor of the Sevens World Series, Asian 5 Nations and Asian Sevens Series, the bank is co-title sponsor of the Hong Kong Sevens from 2012. HSBC is the Principal Partner of all the Hong Kong rugby teams, and the British & Irish Lions, who will play in Hong Kong in 2013 en route to Australia. The bank is also the title sponsor of the Waratahs Super 15 team in Australia, the Penguin International Coaching Academy and the Cobra 10s tournament in Malaysia.