FirstPoint USA is delighted to once again support the annual New Year’s Day Youth Rugby Tournament alongside our partners at the Hong Kong Rugby Union.
Having established the exclusive partnership back in 2020, FirstPoint USA will continue to support and sponsor both men’s and women’s youth rugby in the region, providing life-changing pathway opportunities for both academic and athletic scholarships in the USA.
Hong Kong Rugby Union’s New Year’s Day Youth Rugby Tournament is an annual tradition dating back to 1967, when a group of students from Hong Kong arranged an exhibition match against fellow students at select schools in the UK, creating the longstanding rivalry and tradition of Hong Kong vs Overseas teams.
With the lifting of travel quarantine restrictions in Hong Kong, the 2023 tournament welcomes the return of that very rivalry, with matches taking place at the historic Hong Kong Football Club Stadium between Hong Kong clubs and Overseas Select teams.
The format of the tournament has continued to evolve each year, with the U16s Ladies this year contesting the Naylor Cup donated by previous Tournament Director Rob Naylor and the U19 Ladies playing for the Lassies Quaich, gifted by long-term supporter of youth rugby Gordon Lamb. The George White Trophy is awarded to the winner of the U16 Boys match, which has normally been a Hong Kong v Overseas schoolboys’ fixture. It originates from the late 1970s and was donated by George White, a New Zealander who played for and coached Hong Kong Football Club and also coached the Hong Kong U21 team in 1976.
The finale of the day is the traditional U19s Hong Kong v Overseas schoolboys match, the Middlesex Cup, the trophy that started it all way back in 1967.
Robbie McRobbie, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Rugby Union, said:
“The HKRU is delighted to be partnering with FirstPoint USA in providing outstanding opportunities for our youngsters to excel on the rugby pitch and on the university campus. Our athletes consistently demonstrate that sport and education go hand-in-hand, and FirstPoint ensure that they get the expert guidance and support to find the best university fit for them.
We also appreciate that FirstPoint sees our relationship as extending across our community with their generous support of initiatives like the New Year’s Day Youth Tournament. HKRU looks forward to continued success with FirstPoint USA in positively impacting the lives of Hong Kong boys and girls”.
John Barclay, FirstPoint USA’s Director of Rugby, who was born in Hong Kong, spoke on the importance of supporting the growth and sustainability of rugby in the region:
“It’s a fantastic event to be involved with. Our partnership with the Hong Kong Rugby Union has been active for several years and being able to continue supporting their flagship youth tournament is a great opportunity for us to strengthen our links with the sport on an international scale. We’re looking forward to connecting with aspiring young rugby players in Hong Kong and supporting those who are keen to pursue the next stage of their careers through scholarships in the US.”
The event is due to kick off at 12pm (local time) on New Year’s Day – running through to 7pm with the official trophy ceremony to follow.
FirstPoint USA has a dedicated team of specialist talent management consultants who have assisted thousands of young athletes to propel their athletic and academic careers through successful partnerships with top U.S. institutions. In addition to this, we also have robust processes and support tools in place to help you understand the intricacies of your scholarship options, so we’re with you every step of the way.
For more information on the life-changing opportunities for young men and women that an athletic scholarship in the USA can provide, why not get in touch with one of our specialist sports consultants today: Sports Scholarships | FirstPoint USA | FirstPoint USA
FirstPoint USA is an international scouting service, providing recruitment services to hundreds of NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA member institutions seeking to identify the very best in overseas talent, both male and female.
The company was founded in 2001 by former University of Cincinnati All-American and Hall of Fame inductee, Andrew Kean, and evaluates over 100,000 prospective student-athletes, competing in over 20 different sports, across 187 countries each year.