Hong Kong Women Rugby team heads to Ireland after historic win into the World Cup qualification finals

Hong Kong Women Rugby team heads to Ireland after historic win into the World Cup qualification finals

The Hong Kong Women Rugby team made a historic win last year December against Fiji in the qualifying tournaments, allowing it through to the final rounds for the World Cup Finals, a historic first for Hong Kong. After half a year of hellish drilling, the Hong Kong team head off to Ireland today (4th August) to prepare for their challenge against teams from Canada, New Zeland and Wales, all three teams being world-class opponents. Our reporter at Passion Times interviewed Chow Mei-nam, Captain of Hong Kong’s 15-a-side women rugby team, to have a better understanding of their preparation for their upcoming battle.

From Asia Championship to the World Cup both exciting and nervous, hoping to do their best with a cool head

Passion Times interviewed Chow Mei-nam, captain of Hong Kong’s 15-a-side women rugby team, to better understand their physiological and psychological conditions whilst preparing for the World Cup. Chow said that the team at the moment are still adjusting but can be said to have adapted to different tactics and strategies. With the World Cup very much different to the Asia Championships, the team are both excited and nervous but must be able to improvise on the spot. “The team currently is still at the adjusting stage, but while everyone have gotten used to the arrangements and strategies on the whole, the World Cup is different from the Asian Championships; everyone obviously excited and nervous, so we would need to see if we can calm down and improvise during the game, and carry out our coach’s plans.

Hoping to play Hong Kong style, becoming the lowest and fastest team

Contesting against three strong teams, we asked if the team had different strategies against each team, Captain Chow Mei-nam replied that their coach will make necessary adjustments when facing different opponent, but the general direction is to play according to Hong Kong team’s established style, that they hope to be “the lowest and fastest team” in winning via agility and speed. “I believe our coach will make such preparations, making minor adjustments each game, but the overall goal is to play according to the Hong Kong style, we hope to become the lowest and fastest team.”

Determined to play against world-class opponents

When we asked Captain Chow if she had any personal aspirations in leading the Hong Kong team to the World Cup in August, she said that she hoped to be a world-class lock. “I myself hope to be a world-class lock. This is my first time on the world stage, and I hope to be able to reach a world-class level.” When asked about the Hong Kong team, Chow hope the team can raise its level and go for the win against other world-class teams, “I hope the team can raise its standard so that we can have a fighting chance, as we didn’t arrive at the finals by pure luck. By being in the World Cup, we are saying to our opponents that we are here to take the win, being victorious in each match!”

Returning player Winnie Siu Wing Ni had represented Hong Kong in many international matches despite her young age, and during their six-o’clock morning training, Winnie told us that for a sportsperson to have better performance, hard work is necessary. “If you want to be a sportsperson, and if you want better performance, the journey is very difficult; especially in such physical sport as rugby.” Winnie also said that going to the gym can reduce the risk of injuries and have better confidence in clashing with opposing players.

A new player to the Hong Kong team, TY was also very enthusiastic when discussing their historic qualification for the World Cup qualifying rounds during their morning exercises. Majoring in sports at the Education University of Hong Kong, and despite having only joined the Hong Kong team recently, she is very much anticipating the upcoming August. “I found it so amazing that I can train with a bunch of players heading for the World Cup. We are almost at our final preparation stage, so I’m feeling so excited and motivated. I really wish August can come soon.”