The new National Stadium hosted its first ever event with the Rugby World Club 10s. (Photo by VoxSports)
After much excitement, the new National Stadium at Sports Hub hosted its first ever event with the Rugby World Club 10s taking place from 21 to 22 June.
Top professional rugby clubs from around the world set foot and went head to head on the new pitch, vying for supremacy.
Singapore saw one prominent representative take to the pitch, as Team Singapore rugger Reiner Leong turned out for the Asia Pacific Dragons in the tournament.
Team Singapore rugby player Reiner Leong. (Photo by VoxSports)
Leong had started on the bench when the Dragons played their first game against Cardiff Blues but the 28-year-old soon came off the bench to roaring applause as he became the first Singaporean to play competitively at the new stadium.
Watched by 8,918 spectators, Leong did not disappoint as he took his opponents head-on and bravely jumped into tackles.
Despite his majestic displays, the forward admitted that he was still coming to terms with the standard of competition.
“I never expected such a great level of competition to come to Singapore but I am glad it did, it gives us more chances to learn from World Class opponents and I just hope I learn more from it,” Leong enthused.
“It is always an honour regardless of what sports you are doing as long as you come out and play for Singapore. Anyone would kill for this honour,” he added of being able to be the first Singaporean to represent the nation in the stadium.
Through the combined efforts of Singapore Rugby Union (SRU), Carinat Sports Marketing and Singapore Sports Hub, 20 SportCares kids from the heartlands also participated in an on-pitch rugby clinic and tag rugby match with coaches from SRU —and watched the rugby matches after that.
Our SportCares beneficiaries got a taste of the new National Stadium pitch at their rugby clinic. (Photo by VoxSports)
Other Singaporeans too were able to have a taste of the field, as exhibition matches were held in conjunction with the World Club 10s.
They too agreed that though the complex may not have been filled to its brim, even then the atmosphere was considerably electrifying compared to other rugby venues local players were used to.
One in particular was Garden City Warriors captain Clarissa Grace Lim who matched up against Singapore Reds in an exhibition match during the first day.
The 26-year-old who has played rugby for seven years said: “I guess this is the grandest feel of playing in Singapore national stadium right now, the crowd gives it a lot more atmosphere right now.”
More photo here.