Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Asia Division 1; Fun and Games in Tainan

There is a major rugby tournament on in China Taipei. The national mens 15s teams from China, Sri Lanka and Singapore are due in the capital of China Taipei, Tainan. There they will do battle in a tournament that decides the structure of Asian rugby in 2009. The winner moves up and joins the Five Nations Division, replacing the Arabian Gulf. The loser moves down to Division 2 to be replaced by Thailand. The loser, in other words, will be out of The World Cup 2011 qualifying process. The trouble is nobody knows for sure the structure of this tournament.

The Asia RU web site has not been updated since July, both in news and fixtures. The other site a5nrugby.com is offline being updated, so there is hope there. All we know is the opening round matches are..

China-Taipei v Sri Lanka
Singapore v China.

We don't know if it will be a knock out or round robin. I have found the Singaporan Team on their web site which I will include below. As far as the other teams go, well, we will have to wait and see.

You need a google translation for the Chinese web site. All they are letting on is that their team defeated a Beijing 'Brothers' team 119-5 in a warm up game, 25 October. Apparently they needed to forward their team list to the China Taipei ambassador before final selection. My understanding is that no military personal from mainland China can enter China Taipei. Which means a good number of the Chinese best players won't go because they belong to the army team. Hmmm.

Forget the China-Taipei Rugby Union Website. You needn't bother with the translation because (a) there is nothing about the team anyway, and (b) its a load of gobble-dee gook. I think they might be having problems with their web site!

Now for Sri Lanka. There is nothing on the main Sri Lankan Rugby Site except for a huge list of what must have been a training squad. On http://www.srilankasports.com/ there appears to be huge handbag sessions over the selection of the captain of the side. There have been accusations, resignations, and the press have got stuck in as well. My understanding is that the team will have TWO captains, one for each match (which indicates that probably there will be the round on the 12th, followed by a final on the 15th or 16th) but as it took half a minute for each article to appear on srilankansports.com I gave up.

So, if you are an enlightened one from these nations let us know what's happening, and let us know your teams.

Singapore Squad
(Couldn't get all the club affiliations)
Norman Sin (Bedok Kings RFC)
Mark Lee (Bedok Kings RFC)
Nicholas Dance (Bucks RFC)
Gaspar Tan (Bedok Kings RFC)
Mohamed Suhaimi Bin Amran (Singapore Cricket Club)
Christopher Gilbert (Capt) (Wanderers RFC)
Steven Horsfall (Singapore Cricket Club))
Jeremy Chan (Bedok Kings RFC)
Rong Jing Xiang (Bedok Kings RFC)
Andrew Bennett
Romi Musa
Jonathan Lee (Singapore Cricket Club)
Benjamin Wheeler
Tong Chin Hong (Bedok Kings RFC)
Andrew Lee (Bedok Kings RFC)
John Forrester (Bedok Kings RFC)
Daniel Thiam (Bedok Kings RFC)
Mohamed Ismail Kadir (Wanderers RFC)
Lionel Robinson (Singapore Cricket Club)
Jonathan Chen (Bedok Kings RFC)
Eric Ng (Bedok Kings RFC)
Peter Williams (Bucks RFC)
Gareth Pritchard
Mohamed Zaki Bin Mahmood (Singapore Cricket Club)

Warm up games
Oct 25 Royal Selangor Select XV 38, Singapore 21 in Kuala Lumpur
4 Nov. Guiness Cup XV 24, Singapore Select 18 in Singapore

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