HSBC World Rugby 7s Players’ First Impressions of Singapore

Over the next few days, Welsh Scrum Half Luke Treharne, 23, will be game enough to try durians and laksa…two of the more well known foods in Singapore.

Added Treharne, “Well I haven’t heard too much about the Singapore food…but yeah, we will go out and try those!”

Eager young rugby fans look forward to seeing their idols.

Eager young rugby fans look forward to seeing their idols.

EXCITED TO SEE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF SINGAPORE

Besides the food, Treharne is also looking forward to seeing some of the sights and sounds of Singapore.

He explained, “I am excited to see the city and to go to the stadiums that we will be training and playing at – I have heard that Singapore’s National Stadium has a really nice surface and the ground is covered as well, which should be cool. And I have also heard of the Formula One race track and the pool that is located on top of a building (the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark) – and would love to see these for myself.”

Treharne [left] is looking forward to seeing some of the sights and sounds of Singapore.

Treharne [left] is looking forward to seeing some of the sights and sounds of Singapore.

Treharne had been speaking to the media upon the Wales Sevens team’s arrival at their hotel this evening. Besides Wales, the other teams which had arrived about the same time, had been Australia, South Africa and the United States. The rugby teams have come to Singapore to play in this weekend’s HSBC World Rugby Singapore Sevens.

A RESOUNDING RECEPTION FROM SCHOOL KIDS AND ADULTS

All the teams had been greeted by a resounding reception at the hotel from rugby fans from all walks of life…all of whom were screaming with delight and enthusiasm upon seeing their idols in the flesh.

Many of the supporters also had rugby balls and markers… to get player autographs.

Tyler Ng, 12, a Primary Six student at Anglo-Chinese School, was one of these ardent fans. Said Tyler, a Second Row Prop and Number Eight in his school rugby team, “I was very happy to meet these world class players as I have never met anyone like them before. I was also nervous as I did not know how they would react when I asked them for their autograph.”

Tyler's arms were full of rugby player autographs too!

Tyler’s arms were full of rugby player autographs too!

A fan of Carlin Isles from the United States, Tyler had been a tad disappointed that he did not manage to get his idol’s signature…but this was more than made up for, with countless signatures from other rugby players from Australia, South Africa and Wales – on Tyler’s jersey…as well as his arms!

“I am just going to wear sleeves from now when I bathe so that the autographs stay for as long as possible. But it will eventually come off…at least the autographs on my shirt will be permanent,” added Tyler.

The rugby players themselves had also been amazed at the resounding reception in Singapore. Said Australia’s Scrum Half James Stannard, 33, “There has been really good support since we stepped into the airport, and with all the school kids staying out late at night to show their encouragement for us. We really thought the response would be quiet but it’s totally not!”

Standard [let] was amazed by the reception he got from the airport as well as the hotel.

Stannard, Australia’s Scrum Half, [left] was amazed by the reception he got from the airport as well as the hotel.

Stannard continued, “So I guess that we are expecting a good crowd at the game and much more of this type of support over the next few days.”

The welcome reception had also been amazing for Nate Ebner, 27, a Forward with the USA Eagles. He said “I think it’s awesome and great beginning for our tournament in Singapore, and I hope to see the same turnout for the games itself during the weekend.”

LOOKING TO PLAY SOME GOOD RUGBY THIS WEEKEND

Ebner is definitely excited for the next few days ahead but at the same time, he intends to keep his expectations low. He said, “I do not have any expectations at the moment. But now we will be looking to get everything all sorted out before the tournament begins – and then to play some good footy, doing as well as we can.”

An eager young rugby fan gets his ball signed.

An eager young rugby fan gets his ball signed.

Looking to play some good rugby too, will also be Australia’s Stannard. He said, “We have not won anything yet though we have come close a few times. This weekend we want to come away with a victory so we are looking forward to playing some good footy.”

HUMID WEATHER MAY AFFECT PLAY

However, Seabelo Senatla, 23, a Winger with the South African rugby team is expecting the humid weather in Singapore to affect the quality of play to some extent.

Said Senatla, “I was already sweating a little bit when I stepped out of the airport. Weather is a factor when you are playing rugby especially the Sevens, which is a free flowing game. So we hope that it will be dry during the weekend so the quality of play does not slow down.”

Seabelo [right], being interviewed here by the media, feels that the humid weather may affect play in Singapore.

Senatla, Winger from South Africa, [right], being interviewed here by the media, feels that the humid weather may affect play in Singapore.

IMPRESSED WITH SINGAPORE’S CLEANLINESS

But that aside, Senatla has been impressed with plenty of other aspects of Singapore…especially the cleanliness. Said the player, “This is my first time coming to Singapore and I have always thought the city to be clean and green. It has more than met my expectations so far and I have been impressed.”

He continued, “I’m now really looking forward to getting out and exploring more of Singapore, to see what is outside there – and at the same time, to step up and play some good rugby this weekend.”

Rugby 7s Roadshow in Singapore

Singapore’s Fahmy is excited about the Rugby 7s

Australian Rugby players Cook Laksa

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