The Singapore rugby team has started preparations for the Tri-Nations tournament (photo by VOXSPORTS).
The Asian Tri-Nations Tournament 2013 is back in Singapore once again this August after a 14-year hiatus. This year’s Asian Rugby Tri-Nations Tournament will see Team Singapore face off against Asian powerhouses Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei over three matches at Yio Chu Kang Stadium from 18-24 August.
Chinese Taipei is a Division 1 team while Hong Kong is in the Premiership. There are generally three tiers that are being played, with the Premiership seen as the top tier, Division 1 the second and Division 2 (Div 2) the third.
Said Inoki Afeaki, coach for the national rugby team,“Singapore faces stiff competition, as Hong Kong is known to be one of the best in rugby in the Asian region. Chinese Taipei are a tough side as well, so this will be a serious tournament for us and we are getting the boys ready at the moment.”
Singapore was competing at Division 1 level before being demoted to Division 2 at the last Asian Tri-Nations Tournament. The team was once again promoted back to Division 1 status after sweeping the champions title at the Asian Five Nations tournament earlier this year.
Even though the national team had just officially started their training camp for the tournament this week, the boys of the national team had been training constantly all year round with the exception of lay-off periods after a competition.
“We just finished our Asian Five Nations tournament in June, so we had a three week break. After that, each of the players went back to training with our own clubs for another three weeks, before gathering to start on the national training this week for the upcoming Tri-Nations tournament.”
“I think the game plan will be similar with what we did for Malaysia during Asian Five Nations; we don’t want to change too much from what we did two months ago and we don’t want to break the momentum,” shared Daniel Marc Chow, captain of Team Singapore Rugby team.
Our national rugby team is filled with lots of promising talent, and some of the more notable players include Gaspar Tan and Blandon Tan.
Gaspar plays as the team’s hooker and has been with Team Singapore since 2006. Currently 25, Gaspar never fails to improve his level of play throughout the years and has been a key player for the team in many different aspects over the period he had been in the national team. As for Blandon, the team captain has more to say about this budding player.
“He only joined us this year but only because he’s been down with injuries the past one or two years, yet he did really well in Malaysia. He scored two very important tries for us and I think he will do the same this time round.”
With the training camp kicking in at full gear, the boys of the national team will be preparing themselves fully to face off the two strong teams in this tournament. The Chinese Taipei match is one of the most widely anticipated matches as it is an international test match that would affect their current positions in the world ranking. Despite losing to them last year, Daniel is confident that his team will be able to avenge that loss.
“It’s not going to be easy but it’s definitely possible to win it. I think it’s a lot of mental strength needed on our part. Getting down to training and game plans is one thing, but when it comes down to the game itself, I think that we need to be mentally strong as well. As long as we trust one another to do the job that’s required of each of us, I think we’ll do well,” commented Daniel on his team’s readiness for the tournament.
The Asian Tri-Nations Tournament will take place at Yio Chu Kang Stadium as it kicks off on the 18th of August, where Singapore will go head on with Asian rugby powerhouse, Hong Kong, in the tournament’s opening match.