This years Taipan Day, this Saturday 22nd April 2017, is shaping up to be an outstanding day of rugby at Club. There is quite simply something for the whole of the Hong Kong rugby community culminating in the most historic rugby fixture in the Hong Kong rugby calendar, The Taipan Match.
The Taipan’s Day Schedule is:
08:00 - 12:00 The Taipan’s Mini Rugby Tournament
12:00 The Duley and Brucie Legends vs The Pot Bellied Pigs RFC
13:00 The TK Lai Cup Hong Kong Disciplined Services vs PLA
14:15 Varsity Match - Northern vs Southern Hemispheres
15:45 Hong Kong vs Waikato Chiefs Devt. Squad
17:30 Taipan Match Kick Off
20:00 Taipan’s Dinner
How The Taipan’s Match Began
In 1951 one of the HKFC members, Vernon Roberts, came up with the idea of a game between the best players in Hong Kong, at the end of a particularly hard season. At the time Hong Kong was rebuilding after the war and the town had many servicemen stationed here. The games between the ‘civvies’ at the HKFC and those who served for the respective army, navy, airforce and marines sides were tough encounters.
Vernon Roberts thought it would be a good idea to change from the format of normal rugby encounters by mixing the players up from all our Hong Kong’s leading teams. Play the match and then have a huge celebration dinner afterwards and cunningly invite someone else to pay for it.
Sir Robert Mansergh, then Commander of British Forces in Hong Kong knew a good thing when he saw it and donated the trophy that will be played for and presented today. Sir Robert went onto become Commander in Chief of Allied Powers Forces in Northern Europe and Commander in Chief of British Land Forces. Then the dinner needed a benefactor and Sir Arthur Morse, then Chairman of HSBC, stepped forward to pay for that and thus he became the first Taipan. Sir Arthur’s legacy was the amazing rebuilding of Hong Kong in the post war years and the vital role played by The Bank in that process.
In the years that followed many fine men from Hong Kong’s business community have agreed to be Taipan and each Commander of British Forces accepted the challenge until the handover in 1997.
This Years Taipan – Mr Kevin Taylor
This year, Kevin Taylor, President of BT in Asia, the Middle-East and Africa (AMEA), joins the fray as the 2017 Taipan. A long-time member of the local rugby community, Kevin has been a strong contributor to Hong Kong rugby for many years from youth to senior level.
Honoured to be chosen as The Taipan, he has shaped the BT AMEA squad like a rugby team, inciting passion, camaraderie and the winners’ mindset. As Director of Coaching and Performance for the Hong Kong Rugby Union, Kevin knows what it takes to drive success on and off the field.
Indeed this has been reflected in BT’s progress since he joined the company in 2003. Having recently celebrated its 31st birthday in AMEA, BT has been growing extensively and now boasts 26 offices and over 5,000 employees supporting customers in the region.
But sport is more than a metaphor for BT. In the United Kingdom, BT Sport is now bringing a selection of the most compelling sporting action to the public, from the Champions’ League to the giants of Rugby Union. BT uses its array of innovations in fixed and mobile communications to change how the sports are experienced, so you never miss a minute.
Globally, BT is proud to sponsor rugby from the Scotland team to Cardiff Blues and Ulster. Meanwhile locally, BT uses the Hong Kong Sevens as a place to inspire conversations with customers, colleagues and partners. Furthermore 2017 is the first year BT is excited to be one of the sponsors of the Hong Kong Tens, a contest that unashamedly refers to itself as the ‘World’s Best Tens’.
So for BT and Kevin, the Taipan’s Cup represents the opportunity to round off a fantastic month of rugby with a celebration of the sporting community and everyone that makes it possible.
Finally, my challengers: Kevin, Sean, Danny and all of the Browne family, I wish them the best for today - a family for who whom I have the utmost respect and great contributors to the rugby community.
Entry is free to everyone so please come with friends and family to Club on Saturday and enjoy a feast of rugby. An excellent brochure of the day with full details is available to download here: