Having made history by qualifying for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup, Hong Kong are on the hunt for a second successive appearance in the showpiece tournament.
They will attempt to qualify for the tournament next year and as they prepare for that, they are currently gaining valuable experience in the Asia Pacific Championship with matches against Fiji and Samoa.
Having beaten Fiji in their opening match, Hong Kong face another challenge against Samoa. Captain Karen Hoi Ting So is ‘happy and proud of the girls’ following their impressive victory.
“We have worked for the past six to eight weeks for the championship,” explained Hoi Ting So.
“We were told to be brave and take the challenge head on. To get the win is evidence of the commitment that these girls have to the programme and the growth of our game.”
With Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 qualification taking place next year, Hong Kong’s ultimate goal is to qualify for a second successive time.
However, that is not all that Hoi Ting So is aiming to get out of this championship.
“It is an important competition for us,” added the captain.
“We are grateful to be here. Getting exposure to different opponents from around the world will only help us prepare better for the qualifiers.
“We would love to be at the next World Cup again but we are taking it one step and one goal at a time. The ultimate goal is the World Cup.
“Beating Fiji is a step closer to that goal but we have many challenges in front of us.”
The experience in 2017 was one that will go down in history in Hong Kong. Despite failing to register a win, their were plenty of lessons for Hong Kong.
The legacy of their appearance in the competition is also living long in the memory.
“We learned that size isn’t everything,” added Hoi Ting So.
“We were one of the smallest teams at the World Cup but we put in some great performances against much bigger opponents.
“We didn’t give up regardless of the score and kept fighting until the final whistle blew. We learned to use our size to our advantage.
Growth Of Hong Kong Women Rugby
“Women’s and girl’s rugby has grown tremendously since 2017 .
“We have more young girls joining rugby, our women’s domestic league has grown with more teams and a higher level of competition.
“Testimony to this programme was having nine new caps for our match against Fiji. When we were qualifying for the World Cup we only had one. I can only see the women’s game in Hong Kong getting bigger and better.”