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Tue, 8 June 2021

Hong Kong Appoints Simon Amor as Interim Coach for Asia Rugby Championship

The Hong Kong Rugby Union has appointed Simon Amor, former Head of Sevens and attack coach for Englands Rugby Football Union, as interim coach at this years Asia Rugby Championship (ARC) in November.

Simon is no stranger to Hong Kong, having represented England as player, captain and coach, for nearly two decades there.

He was a linchpin of the England sides that won the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens four times in the early 2000s, and was the inaugural World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year (2004).

Simon Amor, the new interim Hong Kong coach, lifts cup for England at HK7s 2002. England beat Fiji 33-20 in the final on 24 March. Click to enlarge.

He played for London Irish, Gloucester, Wasps and London Scottish, where he made his first foray into coaching as player-coach in 2008.

After retiring from playing in 2010, Simon was head coach and director of rugby for Scottish, later coaching England Sevens (men and women) and Team Great Britain.

He was part of Eddie Joness coaching team for England before leaving the RFU last month.

The timing proved propitious for the HKRU, after Hong Kongs previous coach Craig Hammond announced his departure earlier this month.

HKRU Chairman, Patrick Donovan, said, We are delighted to welcome Simon. His achievements on the pitch here are talked about to this day, but we are most excited about his accomplishments as a coach and believe he will make a positive impact on the team. As we push for a third straight Asian championship, Simons appointment is a clear indication of our resolve to become the top team in Asia and to qualify for future world cups.

Simon's experience with Team GB and London Scottish will hold him in good stead for the Hong Kong role, with Britains silver medal in Rio coming on a very compressed 10-week timeline; Scottish, meanwhile, provided him with the experience of working with semi-professional players to earn promotion from National League 2 to the Championship. It is an experience Simon hopes to replicate in Hong Kong with the Elite Rugby Programme for Hong Kongs XVs professionals due to sunset at the end of June.

Although coaching wasnt a planned career choice, it has come naturally to the former scrumhalf who has played for, and coached alongside, Sir Clive Woodward, Nigel Melville, Sir Ian McGeechan, and Jones.

Simon is upbeat about the future of Team Hong Kong. To be an elite rugby player on an amateur basis is eminently achievable. As long as you get your planning right and your discipline and focus right, you can be an outstanding player, represent Hong Kong and still balance a challenging and rewarding job, Simon said. Of course, there are compromises we have to make as well, so its about discipline and commitment, and from everything I hear, this is a group that are committed, passionate, and want to be successful. For me the only question is how can we make it the best semi professional set-up in the game? Can we be the absolute pinnacle of the world in terms of the way we operate? I think that is a very good aspiration for a team like Hong Kong to have now. The position has come about quickly and the time left is quite short, but that is the next step on this journey we are taking together.

Rugby pictures: Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015, Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong Kong, Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015, Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014, Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013, Pictures of Chartis Cup 2012 and Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.

See latest Travel Industry News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: Hong Kong, HKRU, Rugby.

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