17th Apr 2023

Bolstered by an enthusiastic crowd at Hong Kong Football Club, the inaugural Super XV format was launched on Saturday, and widely remarked upon as a success for players, coaches, and local supporters.  


The men’s kicked off first, with the Hong Kong China-qualified Dragons taking on a World XV of Premiership stars. Fans were treated to some very good attacking rugby, with plenty of thrilling breaks and some big ball carrying moments from local stars Luke van der Smit and captain Tommy Hill. It was also great to see the younger generation of local players making their mark, with the likes of Dylan White, James Gostick and Anselm Chan all putting their hand up in a bigger arena. Undeterred by the Hong Kong summer heat, the Dragons ended up putting 37 points on the board, answered by 12 from the World XV. 


Hong Kong China Dragons head coach Lewis Evans felt there were plenty of positives to take away from the new competition: 


“The goal was to get some plans and structures in place. Plenty to work on, but a solid foundation to start with. Games like this are all about getting younger players involved – they’re the future and it’s great for them to play alongside the more experienced guys. This is the brand of Hong Kong rugby we’re looking to build.”


The involvement was invaluable for younger Premiership up-and-comers, with Kowloon’s handy #10 Dylan White remarking on his first experience in a representative style Hong Kong China side: 


“Here in Hong Kong we like to play quick, entertaining rugby, and today was a good display of that. We came into this game with nothing to lose and lots to gain - it was great to play alongside some big names like Luke [van der Smit] and Tommy [Hill] , who are really helpful and supportive figures. To have their trust means a lot - games like this give you the confidence to push on and train hard.”

Over on the women’s side, the opportunity to prepare for the upcoming international season was gladly seized by coach Royce Chan and her squad. Coming up against the experience and physicality of the World XV is invaluable ahead of a full summer calendar, and each team gave it a fierce nudge, with a tight score line reflecting the determination of both to make their mark. 


Hong Kong China Dragons Women’s co-captain Roshini Turner reflects on the game:


“This really gives us a direction to go forward with, and I’m excited for the internationals and getting back on the world stage. Games like this are for depth – this is all about the bigger picture and bringing up as many girls to international standard as possible. That’s going to put is in great stead for the future.


“Getting exposed to this environment early is so important.”



As always, a huge thank you to our match officials, physios, event staff, fans and players for a safe and successful day out. 

Hong Kong China Dragons Men’s 37 : 12 World XV Men’s

Hong Kong China Dragons Women’s 10 : 15 World XV Women’s