Rugby Singapore and HSBC are thrilled to welcome six global rugby legends to Singapore for the HSBC Singapore Rugby 7s between 10 and 16 April.
Former All Blacks Zinzan Brooke and Andrew Mehrtens, Rugby World Cup winners David Campese (Australia, 1991) and Jason Robinson (England, 2003), as well as France’s Sebastien Chabal and Fiji’s former coach Ben Ryan are gracing various events hosted in Singapore as part of South East Asia’s biggest celebration of rugby.
Jason Robinson. Photo: Rugby Singapore
Between them, the six legends boast 347 international caps, 117 Test match tries, over 1000 kicked points, 2 World Cup winner’s medals, 1 Olympic gold medal and 2 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series titles. That is by far the most serious stash of rugby credibility to hit these shores in a very long time.
True to their sporting spirit, these superstars are in Singapore to help players of the future with masterclasses in rugby techniques, as well as introducing youth to the values of this great game. And Singapore’s rugby fraternity is excitedly awaiting their arrival.
The legends will also be pooling together their considerable influence to raise funds for good causes at a gala dinner. And if you are at the National Stadium on 15 and 16 April, you could be one of the fortunate few in the frame for a selfie with one of these rugby icons.
Let’s meet the Legends:
Andrew Mehrtens (above) was the original ‘man with the golden boot’ – a prodigious goal-kicker for the All Blacks whose tally of 967 kicked points remains the 7th highest in the all-time list. Even though his place among the rarefied elite of New Zealand rugby was long secured, Mehrtens has built a considerable following in the media.
All Black Zinzan Brooke (above) is acknowledged as one of the best number eights to have ever played the game. A genuine rugby ‘all-rounder’, the extremely mobile and agile Brooke was a forward blessed with the running and kicking skills of a back. Brooke’s 48-metre drop goal in the 1995 World Cup match is the stuff of rugby folklore.
Instantly recognisable for his for his full beard, long hair and ferocious on-field persona, Sebastien Chabal (above) was the beloved l'Homme des Cavernes (The Caveman) to French rugby fans. He inspired Chabalmania in France, and videos featuring bone-jarring tackles from his 62 international appearances are among the most viewed rugby videos on YouTube.
David ‘Campo’ Campese’s connections with Singapore Rugby goes back to the time he became coach of the Men’s team in 1998. His ‘goose-step’, a hitch-kick motion which left opponents stumbling when trying to tackle him, as well as his outspoken views on most rugby matters, is a part of his considerable appeal. Campese was capped 101 times by the Wallabies and held the world record for the most number of international tries (64) till it was overhauled by Japan’s Daisuke Ohata. Campese made rugby look so fluid and simple, that it gave rise to the term ‘Easy, Campese’ that has become a part of the Aussie vernacular for something like ‘No worries’
Jason Robinson is a former dual-code England international and was one of the stars the 2003 World Cup winning team. He has been awarded both an MBE and OBE from the Queen and is a true legend of the game. Both during his career and since retiring, Jason has been a proud supporter of grass-roots rugby, teaming up with initiatives such as the All Schools Programme and the Hitz charity. Robinson is visiting Singapore a Rugby Ambassador for HSBC.
Ben Ryan’s (above) list of historic feats, having been in charge of over 300 games, includes setting the record for the most tournament titles, specifically 9, won by a Fiji Sevens coach. He has guided the Fijian team to legendary achievements, such as two World Rugby Sevens Series titles and, most notably, gold in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in rugby sevens’ debut at the Olympics. Ryan is visiting Singapore as a Rugby Ambassador for HSBC.
These icons of the rugby galaxy will be at hand to train tomorrow’s stars at clinics around Singapore, to meet and greet winners of the many contests and activations that sponsors have launched, and of course add glitter to the two tournament days on 15 and 16 April.
Some of them will also raise a toast or two alongside Singapore’s glitterati and select guests of the sponsors, World Rugby and Rugby Singapore at a gala dinner to mark the launch of the tournament on the evening of 13 April at the Pan Pacific Hotel.
Whether it is top tips on tackling or prime places at rugby’s top table, these six legends of the game seem set to sprinkle serious stardust around sunny Singapore.
For tickets to the HSBC Singapore Rugby 7s, please visit: www.singapore7s.sg