The Rugby Sevens may have come and gone – but if you’re still hankering for some scrum action (by which we mean seeing stocky and muscular men in little shorts grabbing each other and rolling around in the mud), you’re just in luck. English Premiership champions, Saracens, are making their Hong Kong debut against the star-studded Asia Pacific Barbarians in the 2012 Chartis Cup rugby competition.
The historical Saracens rugby club (dating back to 1876) is backed by a strong and skilled squad – strong and skilled enough to win last year’s Premiership, in fact. But, in response, the APBs, a team designed to showcase the vast array of rugby talent in Asia Pacific (and occasionally elsewhere) has added five All Blacks from New Zealand’s national team, including 2011 Rugby World Cup winner Mils Muliaina. Welsh player Shane Williams also makes his final appearance at the tournament playing for the APBs before retiring from rugby for good. So it’s (hopefully) an epic showdown.
Aside from the big-boy action, the Chartis Cup also features a fun, day-long rugby festival with mini-tournaments, veterans’ matches and a Rugby Village in the Indian Recreation Club (just next to Hong Kong Stadium) where fans can watch the day’s international matches live on big screens later in the evening. Naturally, the IRC transforms into a lively after-party following the title match. And if you’re a true rugby fanatic, head for the Chartis Cup pre-tournament dinner on Thursday June 7 for a chance to wine, dine and rub greasy elbows with players from both rugby teams.
Catch all the action at Hong Kong Stadium on Saturday June 9. The title match kicks off at 6pm. Tickets are $300 from hkticketing.com.