13 May 2016

Hong Kong women’s coach Jo Hull has selected a largely unchanged squad from last week’s test versus Japan for tomorrow’s match against Singapore. The match will kick off at 17.30 and serves as the opener for the final Sunwolves’ Super Rugby match of the season in Singapore when they take on the Stormers.

Singapore are a relative unknown for Hull, who is in her first Asian Championship season as coach, but she expects a good challenge:“We don’t know too much about Singapore but we expect their forwards will be dominant and know that they have a good number of their sevens team in the squad. They will be massively up for this match being played in the new Stadium as well, but our focus continues to be on our own processes and correcting some of the faults we identified against Japan.

“We know we have a job to do after last weekend. Our focus has been on defence and our set piece, as well as improving our accuracy in attack. We had a lot of opportunities against Japan but our accuracy wasn’t where we needed it to be. Singapore will provide another opportunity for us to refine that ability to play under pressure,” Hull added.

Hull has made three changes to the side that lost to Japan last week 39-3. The experienced Lai Pou Fan comes in to the squad for the first time this season at fly-half with Rose Fong Siu Lan moving to centre.

Lindsay Varty and Lau Sze Wa come on to the reserves bench, replacing Lee Tsz Ting and Nam Ka Man. Lee started at 12 against Japan with Fong taking her place against Singapore, while Nam Ka Man came off of the bench in the opening round of the women’s championship.

“We want to use this game to trial some new combinations,” noted Hull. “Lai brings a lot of experience and is a quality player, especially in attack. Rose is a natural 10 or 12 so there is no problem with her moving along the line. The addition of Dailo [Lai] should also help us improve our accuracy in the backline, which was an issue against Japan.

“Lindsay also adds another layer of experience and is very versatile and can play at scrumhalf or on the wing. She’s strong defensively, which is something we have bee focusing on this week. Sze Wa is a real attacking threat and I’m excited to see her play,” Hull said.

The tie with Singapore is a “massive” opportunity for Hong Kong’s according to Hull.

“This game is massive for us in preparing for the away leg in Japan. Last week was our first match in five months so some of the issues were understandable, but I want action and not words and I am expecting our senior players to step-up tomorrow against Singapore,” Hull added.

“I was really impressed by the attitude in the squad this week. The girls were bitterly disappointed with the result against Japan but they aren’t feeling sorry for themselves and I’m pleased with the way they came into training this week.

“But now it’s time for some application. The girls are determined to address the issues from last week, but at some point we need to produce the results, and that starts tomorrow,” said Hull.

Hong Kong Women’s XV v Singapore (14 May):

1. LAU Nga Wun; 2. Winnie SIU Wing Ni; 3. CHEUNG Shuk Han; 4. Claire FORSTER; 5. CHOW Mei Nam (captain); 6. Christine GORDON; 7. Melody LI Nim Yan; 8. Amelie SEURE; 9. Colleen TJOSVOLD; 10. LAI Pou Fan; 11. CHONG Ka Yan; 12. Rose FONG Siu Lan; 13. Natasha OLSON-THORNE; 14. Aggie POON Pak Yan; 15. Adrienne GARVEY; 16. Karen SO Hoi Ting; 17. KU Hoi Ying; 18. Angela CHAN Ka Yan; 19 CHENG Ching To; 20. TSANG Sharon Shin Yuen; 21. Lindsay VARTY; 22. CHENG Tsz Ting; 23. LAU Sze Wa.