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Are You Game? Where to Play Rugby in Hong Kong

By Julie Magno 12 April 2018
For many people in Hong Kong, rugby is synonymous with a weekend of partying at the Hong Kong Sevens, but the sport has been growing in popularity throughout the city. From Tin Shui Wai in the north to Stanley in the south, and Tai O in the west to Sai Kung in the east, young boys and girls are running around with the famous egg-shaped ball wherever there is a piece of grass.

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"Rugby is the most inclusive team sport in the world," Robbie McRobbie, Hong Kong Rugby Union Representative, tells Localiiz. "When we say that it’s 'a game for all', we really mean it – all cultures, abilities, shapes, and sizes, whether it be 'touch' or 'full contact' rugby – there's a place for everyone. In fact, despite its rough image, the number of girls playing the game is rising even faster than their male counterparts."

So you want to get involved?

The rugby season typically starts in September and ends in March, just before Hong Kong Rugby Week. If you can't wait until September and want a gentle introduction to the sport over the summer months, consider giving 'touch' rugby a try. With 21 mini clubs, 17 youth clubs, 22 tertiary clubs, and 17 senior clubs in Hong Kong, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to signing up. While choice isn't a bad thing, however sometimes choosing the right team can be a challenge. To help you out we've put together a handy shortlist of some of the city's more popular clubs:

Discovery Bay Pirates RFC

DB Pirates FI Discovery Bay Pirates RFC (DB Pirates) was established in 2003 and, as the name suggests, is located in Discovery Bay. As well as rugby, the club has netball, hockey, and dragon boating teams. DB Pirates offers senior men’s and ladies’ rugby, boys and girls’ Youth Rugby (from under 13's to under 19's), as well as Mini Rugby (under 6's to under 12's).  The minis have the opportunity to participate in six tournaments each season, including a mini-tournament at the Hong Kong Sevens. How's that for a goal? Training Times When: Sundays, (times vary according to age group) Where: Discovery College Pitch (U5-U9) and Discovery Bay North Plaza Pitch (U10-Seniors) Visit the website, or contact [email protected], for more information.

Gai Wu RFC

The name Gai Wu comes from a Mah-Jong term, meaning 'to win, with a lower hand of cards', upsetting potential big winners by preempting their next move. Gai Wu consists of four men’s teams and two women’s teams, all playing at various levels, from development to national league, women's premiership and championship. Gai Wu continue training during their offseason (both venue and timetable are TBC, so be sure to check the website for updates). Their Japanese Team (CPM Gai Wu J) organise mini rugby training for Japanese kids during the summer months, beginning in May. Training Times When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, (8pm - 9.30pm) Where: Happy Valley Pitch 4 / Pitch 6 Visit the website, Facebook page, or contact [email protected], for more information.

Hong Kong Scottish

HK Scottish Bravehearts FI The launch of Hong Kong Scottish followed in the footsteps of exiled Scots in London who, over a century ago, formed London Scottish FC. Scottish rugby legend Gavin Hastings was a key figure in the setup of the club, which boasts a membership of 250 players across four sports – one football team, six ladies netball sides, and two lacrosse teams, in addition to rugby. With three men’s teams and one women’s team, Hong Kong Scottish have a mix of experienced players, including Hong Kong National Squad, former youth players, and those completely new to the sport. The club mixes competitive rugby and sportsmanship on the pitch, with serious socialising and community involvement off the pitch. Training Times When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, (times vary according to teams) Where: Tai Hang Tung or Shek Kip Mei Sports Ground New players are welcome to join any time of the year and are advised to get in touch with Daniel McCray at [email protected] to join or find out more.

HKU Sandy Bay RFC

HKU Sandy Bay RFC HKU Sandy Bay RFC is a rugby club for Minis (5 to 11-year-olds) and Youths (12 to 18-year-olds), which caters to both girls and boys, and is run by parent volunteers. The club currently has around 800 members across all ages, and a dedicated team of professional coaches from the Hong Kong Cricket Club 1XV players, who assist the parent Head Coaches in all aspects of training. While the emphasis is on fun, the Minis take part in a series of rugby festivals throughout the season, and the Youths take part in their respective leagues, organised by the HK Rugby Football Union. Training Times When: Sundays, (times vary according to age group) Where: Pitch 1, Stanley Ho, Sha Wan Drive Pokfulam There is also mid-week training at Aberdeen for the Youth section. The season runs from end August to end of March, and registration details can be found on their website, or by sending an email to [email protected].

Kowloon RFC

Kowloon RFC FI Kowloon RFC was established in 1976, and is one of the six premiership teams in Hong Kong. The club is made up of five men’s teams and two women’s teams, all competing at different levels within the HK Rugby Union's Domestic league. Newcomers are welcome to join the Kowloon RFC family and are invited along to a training session to meet with the coach and team captains, and identify which team would suit them best. At the end of the rugby season, during rugby week, the club also organises an annual international social tournament called Kowloon Rugbyfest. Training Times When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, (times vary according to teams) Where: King's Park Sports Ground To find out more about Kowloon RFC or to sign up, visit their website.

SCAA First Pacific Causeway Bay RFC

SCAA RFC The SCAA First Pacific Causeway Bay RFC is proudly affiliated with the South China Athletic Association and competes at every level of Hong Kong Rugby. The club has five senior men’s teams, two senior women’s teams, and three Colts Teams. The club is on a mission to become the force to be reckoned with in Hong Kong rugby, by attracting quality players from around the world and providing an outstanding framework for the development of local talent. Training Times When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, (7.30 - 9.00pm) Where: So Kon Po Sports Ground SCAA also offer Mini rugby for kids between the ages of 3 and 12 years old, every Sunday from 12.30 to 1.30pm. Visit their website to find out more.

University Rugby Football Club

rugby University Rugby Football Club was initially established in 2001 to develop local players from within the Hong Kong University community. The club has become 'West Island's rugby team' and is home to three men's teams and one women's team. It now attracts members from Hong Kong and abroad, drawing in seasoned social players wanting to get back into the game as well as those who are yet to experience the joys of contact rugby. URFC fields teams across multiple divisions of play to ensure that members can compete at their desired level. Training Times When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, (7.30pm) Where: Sandy Bay To find out more about membership contact [email protected], or to register for the upcoming season, visit their website.

Valley RFC

VALLEY RFC Valley RFC, originally founded in 1975 by a group of ex-members of the Royal Hong Kong Police Rugby Club, is home to six men’s teams -- two high-performance teams and four “Brothers” teams -- and two women’s teams. The ladies run two teams which play in the Women's Premiership and National League 1. Valley RFC encourages any new players to come down and give it a go and occasionally runs a summer course around July for any new players to get people up to speed for the start of the season in August. Valley RFC also offers netball and hockey coaching. Training Times When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, (8pm - 9.30pm) Where: Happy Valley 8 To find out more about how you can join Valley RFC, visit their website.
To find out a bit more about the Hong Kong rugby scene, visit the Hong Kong Rugby Union website, where you can also find out about the Hong Kong Touch Association.
Read more! Check out these Top 6 Wacky Workouts, and find out How To: Succeed in Competitive Sports.

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