11 Aug 2017

Royce Chan ‘the backbone of Hong Kong women’s rugby’


Royce Chan ‘the backbone of Hong Kong women’s rugby’ as Hong Kong fight hard in tough World Cup opener

The 38-year-old has battled shoulder injuries in recent years and has had to work as hard as anyone to earn a trip to Ireland she wasn’t sure would ever come.
“I have dislocated my shoulder twice and after the second time I wasn’t sure if I would make it back,” she said. “I want to be on the pitch and I will look to provide an impact if I’m coming off the bench.”
Chan admits the World Cup could be her last international tournament but wants to give back to the game that provided her direction as a youngster, potentially through coaching.
“Before rugby I wasn’t sure what I was going to do and what I was good at,” she said. “Off the pitch I try to help the young girls believe in their ability to play at this level.”
 

For Hull, Chan typifies the spirit she wants her team to show at the World Cup.

“She really is the true backbone of Hong Kong women’s rugby in terms of her professionalism, in terms of her mentoring skills and in terms of her pure determination to fight back from injury over the last couple of years and get into that team,” she said.

“She’s coming towards the end of her career and she just takes every day as a blessing when she is in the team.”

In Hong Kong's World Cup opener against Canada yesterday there was nothing they could do to stop the might of the world’s third-ranked side, who ran in tries at will and controlled the game from the outset.

Whether in the scrum or in general play, Canada rumbled forward and used their muscle to deprive Hong Kong of territory.

“They were just relentless, but I think we fought all the way through,” Hong Kong coach Jo Hull said.

“That’s the reality, we are 98 points behind the third best team in the world. We made some silly mistakes, which we will obviously look at, and it’s hard to play when you don’t have the ball, but we fought for the entire game.”

There were some positives for Hong Kong – the line-out worked well in patches and they battled hard at the breakdown.

“There were periods where we turned them over, we turned them over at the breakdown a couple of times and we forced some mistakes,” Hull said.


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