Hong Kong head coach Leigh Jones expects his side to pay the utmost respect to their opponents this weekend – Korea.
Having recorded an impressive win over Malaysia last weekend, Jones’ side travel to Korea for the first of two encounters with the Koreans in this year’s Asia Rugby Championship.
Both sides recorded wins in Kuala Lumpur and have five points each. Hong Kong sit ahead of Korea on points difference, but now all eyes now turn to this weekend’s fixture which could go a long way to determining who wins the 2018 tournament.
“With Korea, we have being playing regularly against them over recent years and we are always respectful of the strong threat they bring,” said Jones.
“They are also somewhat of an unknown quantity. Their new coaches will no doubt recharge a well-established squad of players who are capable of playing a very strong and entertaining brand of rugby.”
A win this weekend for either side would put them in the driving seat at the top of the Top 3 standings, with the winner set to take on the Cook Islands in the next stage of Rugby World Cup 2019 qualification.
The winner of that will go on to the global repechage for the 20th and final spot at next year’s tournament in Japan, meaning this year’s ARC has an extra incentive to it.
“It would be a dream come true to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2019, and it would illustrate that Hong Kong are a growing force in World Rugby,” added Jones.
“But we are in no doubt this year’s competition is going to prove both tough and exciting.”
You can watch this weekend’s match being played at Namdong Asiad in Incheon between Hong Kong and Korea LIVE on Asia Rugby’s Facebook page.
The link for the stream is: bit.ly/ARC-Live