14 December 2012

Rwanda: Silverbacks for the Hong Kong 10s

The national rugby side, the Silverbacks, will make its maiden appearance in the Hong Kong 10s slated for March, 2013.

The Silverbacks will also have a chance to watch the Hong Kong Sevens.

The Hong Kong 10s is scheduled for March 20-21, 2013 at the Hong Kong Football Club.

The standard of play at the tournament can be gauged from the fact that the 2012 edition was won by the powerful BGC APBs, a team containing New Zealand greats Mils Muliaina and Justin Marshall plus Rugby World Cup stars from Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Japan and the USA.

Tour organiser Dave Hughes said, "Over the past 3 years, Rwanda's performance in Hong Kong has improved annually. Stepping up to play in such a famous and high level tournament in 2013 is a huge achievement. We need to train hard in Kigali and put Rwanda on the rugby map. I know we can."

The Silverbacks will be guided by former Scotland coach Frank Hadden, who visited Rwanda two years ago to conduct a series of rugby clinics and has worked with the players on their previous visits to Hong Kong.

"It will be a learning curve for the boys as they will come up against teams featuring players with Super Rugby, Japanese top League and, in some cases, rugby World Cup experience," said Hadden, adding that this is exactly the kind of challenge they need if they want to build on the progress Rwandan rugby has been making in recent years.

Silverbacks' senior figure and player, Benjamin Akami Makombe said, "We have had three great years playing in RugbyFest and are extremely grateful to Kowloon Rugby Club and the tournament organisers for all the help and support they have given us".

"We know the 10s is an extremely popular tournament with a waiting list of teams wishing to be involved, so we owe a big thank you to Hong Kong Football Club for inviting us to participate."

"We will be training hard and preparing as thoroughly as possible so that we can represent Rwanda with pride in this prestigious tournament."

The Silverbacks, named after Rwanda's signature mountain gorillas, made it to the second-tier Plate final in their Rugby Fest debut in 2010 and reached the main Cup semi-finals in each of their next two visits.

Copyright © 2012 The New Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.