Hong Kong team’s blood, sweat and tears towards Rugby World Cup
As Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2019, Societe Generale has teamed up with Hong Kong rugby player from SG Valley, Nick Hewson who will be sharing his experience over the coming weeks as Hong Kong team makes one last attempt to qualify for RWC Japan. They will take on Germany, Kenya and Canada in Marseille from 11 to 23 November in a round-robin repechage tournament.
Nick Hewson shares his team’s journey towards securing the last RWC place
“We’ve started our journey in sunny Cardiff in Wales with two friendly matches and a tough training schedule to ensure we gel as a team and give ourselves the best chance of fending off three highly competitive teams in Marseille,realizing my childhood dream to play in a RWC.
It’s my first time in Wales and the people are very friendly and are always keen to chat. As well as offering messages of support, the locals are full of recommendations on what to do and where to get a good coffee.
The cool air has provided a stark contrast to our 20-degree plus weather in Hong Kong. The near zero temperatures have been a shock to a number of the guys but it’s helping us adjust and prepare for the conditions we may see in Marseille. It’s also been great to train on two outdoor pitches with lush grass which is something we are not used to in Hong Kong.
Despite a late 28-24 loss in our first friendly match against Gwent Newport Dragons, the team is coming together well. We’ve all been training hard, sharing the sweat, the blood and the tears as we work together to achieve the ultimate goal – to play in RWC Japan. We’ve also been strengthening our team spirit off the field. The guys have discovered a joint love for coffee so some of the team have established a morning coffee club to connect the group. It’s now turned into a friendly competition to see who can bring the best snack to have with coffee. It’s been fantastic for the team culture and to develop the strong bond that will be required on the field in Marseille.
Prior to our second friendly match against Crawshays RFU who we bet 35-24 in a tough battle, we had the privilege of sharing the team spirit with the Welsh Rugby Team. We had the chance to meet the players and staff who shared some of their ideas with us. It was great for the guys to rub shoulders with British Lions players including Alun Wynn Jones, Leigh Halfpenny, Liam Williams and Jonathan Davies and get some final inspiration as we leave Wales and head for Marseille to continue on our journey towards RWC”.