Saturday, December 12, 2009

Test Rugby: Hong Kong in Europe

Hong Kong v Germany in Heidelberg (Friendly)

Venue: Fritz-Grunebaum Sports Park


Hong Kong is making its first tour of Europe. Today they play Germany, Czech Republic Wednesday and then Netherlands next Saturday. This is a very ambitious tour for Hong Kong who finished 4th at the end of the 2009 Asia Nations Series. Thisa tour is pert of the preparation in Hong Kong's bid for a place at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

This is not the first time Hong Kong has ventured far. Last season they played two tests in Tunisia before they began their bid to win the Asia Nations Championship. It certainly is refreshing to see cross-continental test matches being played.

Their opponents Germany is taking the opportunity to blood new players before the European Nations Cup fixtures early next year. A number of regulars are either unavailable or have retired. Colin Grzanna and former captain Jens Schmidt are two who have retired. Unavailable are Robert Moir, Eckhert, Franke, Bodo Sieber, Widiker and Faber. Despite the disappointment of not being able to field their strongest team a number of France-based players have indicated they will be available for most of the 2010 fixtures.

Mustafa Güngör is the new captain of Germany. Image thanks to

After this match both teams will appear on the World Table of the GWC Rugby Rankings.

Prediction: It's a bit like comparing apples with oranges but I would expect the Germans to be stronger on their home turf whilst the East Asians might find the climate change their biggest problem. Germany by 7 points.



Hong Kong Squad
Jon Abel (DeA Tigers)
Timothy Alexander (Valley)
Alex Baddeley (Valley)
Jack Bennett (Valley)
Renaud Chavanis (Valley)
Fan, Shun Kei (DeA Tigers)
Charles French (Hong Kong Football Club)
Gavin Hadley (Newcastle University, England)
Nick Hewson (Valley)
Benjamin Ho (DeA Tigers)
Kwok, Ka Chun (Kowloon)
Simon Leung (Hong Kong Football Club)
Andy Li (DeA Tigers)
Thomas McColl (Kowloon)
Michael McKee (Watsonians RFC, Scotland)
Graham Manchester (DeA Tigers)
Alex Ng (Valley)
Kenzo Pannell (Causeway Bay RFC)
Sebastian Perkins (Hong Kong Football Club)
Adam Raby (DeA Tigers)
Keith Robertson (DeA Tigers)
Salom Yiu, Kam Shing (Valley)
So, Hok Ken (Kowloon)
Pete Spizzirri (Hong Kong Football Club)
Tsang, Hing Hung (DeA Tigers)
Rowan Varty (DeA Tigers)
Mark Wright (Hong Kong Football Club)
Ivan Zenovic (DeA Tigers)
Head Coach: Dai Rees,
Manager: Fung, Kai Hang


Germany Squad
Benjamin Brierley (Ampthill RUFC, England) Aged 23, 4 tests
Kehoma Brenner (RG Heidelberg) 24, 9
Anjo Buckman (Heidelberger RK) 20, New cap
Timothy Coly (RG Heidelberg) 30, 31
Domenick Davies (Bournemouth RFC, England) ?, 1
Kieron Davies (Ampthill RUFC, England) 29, 25
Mustafa Güngör, Capt. (RG Heidelberg) 28, 22
Raphael Hackl (Berliner RC) 22, New cap
Alexander Hauck (SC Frankfurt 1880) 21, New cap
Alexander Hug (TSV Handschuhsheim) 25, 4
Jamie Houston (SC Frankfurt 1880) 27, New cap
Timothy Kasten (Heidelberger RK) 26, 20
Benjamin Krause (DSV 1878 Hannover) 27, 11
Alexander Pipa (TSV Handschuhsheim) ?, 1
Daniel Preussner (SC Frankfurt 1880) 23, New cap
Patrick Schliwa (Heidelberger RK) 24, New cap
Benjamin Simm (DSV 1878 Hannover) 23, 7
Mark Sztyndera (SC Frankfurt 1880) 23, New cap
Edmore Takaendesa (RG Heidelberg) 29, 7
Marcus Trick (SC Neuenheim) 32, 16
Benjamin Ulrich (RK 03 Berlin) 21, New cap
Clemens von Grumbkow (Cavalieri Prato, Italy) 26, 20
Rolf Wacha (SC Frankfurt 1880) 28, 5
Manuel Wilhelm (RG Heidelberg 28, 20

Eight players making their test debuts: Hackl, Sztyndera, Ulrich, Buckman, Hauck, Preussner, Schliwa and Houston

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