Silverbacks depart for Hong Kong

RWANDA’S rugby national team, Silverbacks leave the country on today ahead of the 2013 Hong Kong 10s tournament to be held at Hong Kong Football Club from March 20-21.
Silverbacks’ players building-up morale ahead of a previous international game against Burundi at Amahoro stadium. The team leaves today morning for Hong Kong. Saturday Sport / File.
Silverbacks’ players building-up morale ahead of a previous international game against Burundi at Amahoro stadium. The team leaves today morning for Hong Kong. Saturday Sport / File.

RWANDA’S rugby national team, Silverbacks leave the country on today ahead of the 2013 Hong Kong 10s tournament to be held at Hong Kong Football Club from March 20-21.

The team leaves at 10:00am aboard Qatar Airways and they are expected to touch base in Hong Kong tomorrow before holding training sessions under the tutelage of former Scotland coach Frank Hadden on Monday and Tuesday.

Captain and prop Benjamin Makombe is one of 11 players in the 14-man squad, who have previously played in the Asian nation. The three newcomers are; lock Julian Nshimiyimana and utility players Philip Mana and Allan Otim, with the latter acting interim coach-player in the build-up to the trip.

10s fans seeing the Silverbacks in action for the first time should watch out for livewire scrumhalf Ivan Makmot and flying winger Vincent Kamali,.

The Hong Kong 10s – popularly known as the best tens tournament in the world – takes place next Wednesday and Thursday at Hong Kong Football Club in Happy Valley.

The national team will be making their debut after three years of competing in Kowloon RugbyFest.

Rwanda will face the might of the defending champions, the BGC Asia Pacific All Stars, next week.

The Silverbacks have been drawn in Pool A of the 16-team tournament at Hong Kong Football Club and, besides the aptly-named All Stars, will also face fellow debutants Tradition YCAC from Japan and the A-Trade Overseas Old Boys.

The draw means Rwanda will take on the All Stars in the tournament’s opening match on Wednesday at 11:00am, face YCAC at 2:45pm and Old Boys at 5:40pm. The knockout stages will take place the next day.

Silverbacks Squad:

Benjamin Makombe (prop, Buffaloes), Philip Mana (utility, Lion de Fer), Baptiste Hanzi Jian (prop, Buffaloes), Julian Nshimiyimana (lock, Buffaloes), Olivier Nikwigize (lock/prop, Lion de Fer), Ivan Makmot (scrumhalf/flyhalf, Buffaloes), Lucien Bikamba (scrumhalf/flyhalf, Buffaloes), Koko Marcel Cambara (centre, Lion de Fer), Allan Otim (utility, Buffaloes), Vincent Kamali (wing/centre, Buffaloes), Leonard Twizegimana (lock, Lion de Fer), Moise Habumugisha (scrumhalf, Buffaloes), Aime Ndahirwa (wing, Buffaloes), Didier Kamanzi (prop, Lions).

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