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Kenya Simbas opponent names squad for final Repechage preps

Hong Kong have named a 35 man squad who will take part in the preparation for the repechage tournament to be held in Marseille, France between the 11th and 23rd of November.
Coach Leigh Jones believes his team will overcome Kenya, Germany and Canada in the round robin tournament to seal the last spot of the 2019 world cup in Japan.
Jones has organized a two match build up test for the team in Wales saying he chose wales to acclimate his squad to the heavier grounds and even heavier fowards they expect to face from participating teams.
The team will play the Newport Gwent Dragons Development  on 29 October which Jones coached before joining Hong Kong and on the 2nd of November they will face Welsh invitational side Crawshay’s.
“We chose Wales purely because we know the terrain, we know the level of opposition there, and because we know what we are going to get from them. These are strong opponents that will test us with the same up-the-jumper style rugby we may experience in the repechage.”
Jones has the task of beating the short time frame to get his engine running smoothly
“Kenya, Germany and Canada have all been together for the last month or so. Canada have played something like 18 games in their build-up to this tournament and have been virtually on tour for two months. This indicates the level of resource the opposing teams are throwing into this.”
“The challenge is our usual one, to get everyone up to speed and quickly. The upside is we have ten days in the UK prior to the repechage to do this.”
Jones believes his team has worked so hard towards realizing their world cup dream but relishes the fact that the next step on the road to world cup 2019 is unknown.
“Excitement, trepidation, it’s all there, really. It’s the ‘I don’t know factor’, a bit like going across to the Cook Islands [earlier in the qualification process]. We’re not sure what to expect, other than that it will be physical and very tough.
“We’re ticking every possible box and everything is working in the right direction, but there are so many variables you can’t control. You still need a bit of luck and a couple of decisions to go your way. That’s the beauty of rugby, there are no guarantees,” Jones said.
Due to injury fears Jones named a 35 man squad which will be trimmed down to 30 as they head to France in early November.
Hong Kong Travel Squad RWC 2019 Repechage:  Forwards James CUNNINGHAM ©, Callum MCFEAT-SMITH, Alexander POST, Ben HIGGINS, Ben ROBERTS, Craig LODGE*, Daniel BARLOW, Dayne JANS, Dylan ROGERS, Finlay FIELD, Grant KEMP*, Jack DELAFORCE, Jack PARFITT, Kane BOUCAUT, Michael PARFITT, Michael COVERDALE, Mitchell ANDREWS*, Nick HEWSON, Thomas LAMBOLEY, Toby FENN.  Backs Ben RIMENE, Jamie HOOD, Salom YIU Kam-Shing, Benjamin AXTEN-BURRETT*, Bryn PHILLIPS*, Casey STONE*, Conor HARTLEY, Jamie LAUDER, Lewis WARNER*, Liam SLATEM, Matthew ROSSLEE, Max DENMARK, Max WOODWARD, Tyler SPITZ, Alex MCQUEEN. * Potential first caps.

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