(08 Jun 2021)
The Hong Kong Rugby Union has appointed Simon Amor,
former Head of Sevens and attack coach for England’s Rugby
Football Union, as interim coach at this year’s 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).
played for London Irish, Gloucester, Wasps and London Scottish,
where he made his first foray into coaching as player-coach in
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 Jones’s coaching team for England before leaving the RFU
The timing proved propitious for the HKRU, after
Hong Kong’s 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, Simon’s appointment is a clear indication of our
resolve to become the top team in Asia and to qualify for future
Simon’s experience with Team GB and London Scottish
will hold him in good stead for the Hong Kong role, with Britain’s
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 Kong’s XVs
professionals due to sunset at the end of June.
Although coaching wasn’t 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 it’s 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.”
Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
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
Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015,
Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong
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,
of Chartis Cup 2012 and
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.
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