The various captains and coaches of the teams participating in the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens have their say on the tournament about to kick off this weekend at the Singapore Sports Hub.
Fiji’s Jasa Veremalua on winning the previous HSBC Singapore Sevens tournament:
Singapore Sevens is a special tournament for Fiji. We won it last year and the crowd here is just fantastic. The stadium is awesome and we love it here.
Yes the tournament has potential to grow like Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s history means a lot to Fiji. The Singapore tournament can also mean a lot to Fiji as it can also be a ‘homeground’ for us.
On what he likes about the country and the fans:
We were back in the bus and noticed that the streets are so clean and everywhere is green. All the buildings are nice.
At the moment Fiji has a lot of fans around the world and they love seeing Fiji seeing Rugby and we love their support. It’s a big boost to us when we’re in the field.
The fans are the most important thing to the boys. When they’re on the field, they can hear cheering and it gives them a boost. For example, the last play (against Australia in last year’s tournament final), we could hear the fans cheering outside the field.
The Fiji team manager on why he loves coming down to Singapore:
Singapore is a much developed country. It’s nice to be in Singapore. We learn so much when we come here. First of all, it teaches me how to look after my life.
The stadium in Singapore is a marvelous one. We travel around the world but the one in Singapore is one of the best I’ve ever been to.
On how he would like to grow the sport in the country:
I think a few years back we had a clinic in Singapore for the children and we spread a lot of awareness regarding rugby. And we hope that rugby will grow up in Singapore. And it’s going to be a great nation for rugby around the world.
New Zealand’s Tim Mikkelson on the team’s experience so far in Singapore:
I think Singapore is a challenging training week to be honest as it’s hot over here. But the team likes to focus on the small details and go back to the basics of the skills of the game. When they get into the stadium, it shows in the rugby.
It’s a good field so we don’t have to worry about the conditions either.
On what is at stake at the Singapore Sevens:
I think coming to Singapore as part of the 8th leg of the tournament adds to the drama with it being towards the end of the qualification. And everyone trying to get those top four spots. Everyone is trying to win every tournament now.
They’ll scrape for every point they can so I think this weekend you’ll see that on the field.
Canada’s Harry Jones on what he likes about Singapore:
The city itself is so exciting, so many attractions to go to so the guys love coming here. The pitch is great, the stadium is really cool too and the tournament is great.
The fact that teams are fighting for that top 4 position makes it exciting to watch and the Olympic draw also adds more excitement to it.
On how the Canada team players unwind in their off time:
Most teams get a day off, so some players like exploring the city while some of them like exploring the hotel premises and see what’s cool. At the same time, we have to balance it with the training week. It’s hot and humid outside so we can’t spend too long on our feet either.
On the growing atmosphere of the Singapore Sevens:
The atmosphere has also been growing each year, so it’s a positive thing. I’m from Vancouver and the Vancouver tournament grew each year, just like one.