Hong Kong, Hong Kong (PressExposure) February 18, 2009 -- The Springboks icon is part of a new team, Scatterlings of Africa, who will attempt to end New Zealandâs eight-year winning streak at the popular Hong Kong tournament.
âAll the boys have played at a high level,â revealed team organiser and player Rorke Slater.
âWe have guys who have represented their provinces and played Super 14, plus of course Bob, who captained the Springboks and has won a World Cup.
âWe cannot wait to get to Hong Kong. Most of the guys havenât been there before so weâre looking forward to seeing such a great city and hopefully playing some top rugby.â
Back rower Skinstad played 42 tests for South Africa, including 12 as captain, and was a member of the victorious Springboks squad at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
Scatterlings of Africa â named after a song by South Africaâs most famous musician, Johnny Clegg â are mainly Durban-based but will also feature three players from Cape Town and a trio of players based in Hong Kong.
âWe are an independent side made up of friends, so we are not linked to one particular club,â explained Slater.
Since Fijiâs Magicians triumphed at the Tens in 2000, teams from New Zealand have won the past eight editions of the tournament.
The 2009 GFI HKFC Tens will be held at Hong Kong Football Club in Happy Valley from March 25-26.
The tournament will also feature a German team for the first time â the Wild Titans, representing the Wild Rugby Academy in Heidelberg,
âThe Tens is an excellent opportunity to continue the development of young German players through exposure to a higher level of competition,â said Titans coach Murray Archibald.
âCompeting against teams from all over the world gives German rugby and the Wild Rugby Academy valuable experience in the international rugby arena.â
The third new team this year will be the Playmore Phantoms, comprising elite players from New Zealand supplemented by promising youngsters from the Hong Kong league.
âWeâll have a few Hong Kong Chinese players in the squad and it will be great experience for them to team up with the New Zealand boys and take on some of the overseas teams,â said Phantoms manager Fred Moe.
Tens organising committee chairman Paul Smith predicted another high quality tournament.
âWeâre delighted to welcome three new teams this year and it will be particularly interesting to see the South African challenge to New Zealandâs supremacy,â he said.
âThe tournament has attracted some truly exceptional players in recent years, including Jonah Lomu, Joe Roff, Toutai Kefu and Neil Jenkins, so itâs great news for rugby fans that Bobby Skinstad will be appearing this year.
âThe Tens has developed a reputation as the best ten-a-side rugby tournament in the world and we are all looking forward to what promises to be another two days of fantastic rugby.â
Sixteen club and invitational teams from around the world will compete for four trophies â the Cup, Plate, Bowl and Shield.
The Tens was first held in 1986 to celebrate HKFCâs centenary and is now firmly established as a highlight of the Asian rugby calendar.
The tournament is once again title sponsored by global cash and derivatives broker GFI.
Organisers have also confirmed that Skinstad will be making an earlier visit to Hong Kong as guest speaker at the Tens Dinner, to be held at Football Club on Saturday, March 7.
The Springboks great has developed a reputation as a livewire after-dinner speaker and is sure to keep guests entertained with stories from his stellar career.
Australian TV sports anchor Toby Lawson will be the MC while the evening will also include a live interactive quiz and an auction of unique memorabilia.