Preview of this weekend’s SCC Rugby 7s Tournament

The All Blacks will win the Rugby World Cup 2015.

This is predicted by Daniel Marc Chow, the Captain of the Singapore National Team participating in the upcoming Society Generale Singapore Cricket Club International Rugby 7s (SCC 7s) tournament.

A group photo of the SCC 7s Team Captains. (From extreme left to right) Jonathan Leow, Chairman of the SCC International Rugby 7s Organising Committee, Kyle Brown, Captain of SA Sevens Academy, Will Hafu, Captain of Penguins, Daniel Marc Chow, Captain of Singapore National Team, Pierre Reynaud, Captain of France Development Team, John Brake, Captain of England Development Team, Ben Turner, Captain of SCC Team, and Arnaud Lhoste, Head of Global Markets Sales, Societe Generale, Southeast Asia. (Photo Credit: Singapore Cricket Club)

A group photo of the SCC 7s Team Captains. (From extreme left to right) Jonathan Leow, Chairman of the SCC International Rugby 7s Organising Committee, Kyle Brown, Captain of SA Sevens Academy, Will Hafu, Captain of Penguins, Daniel Marc Chow, Captain of Singapore National Team, Pierre Reynaud, Captain of France Development Team, John Brake, Captain of England Development Team, Ben Turner, Captain of SCC Team, and Arnaud Lhoste, Head of Global Markets Sales, Societe Generale, Southeast Asia. (Photo Credit: Singapore Cricket Club)

The 68th edition of the SCC 7s takes place starting from tomorrow till Sunday 1 November – and coincides with the fifteen-a-side Rugby World Cup Final being played out in London on October 31 between the All Blacks (New Zealand) and the Wallabies (Australia).

The Kiwis are still the stronger side overall

Said Chow, “Australia look good coming into the final and they are improving a lot. But New Zealand are still the stronger team overall, including the bench and the support team. So that makes a difference and this is why I think that New Zealand will win.”

Daniel Chow is looking very serious.

Daniel Chow looking very serious.

When pressed to provide a score, Chow declined, but added that it would be a close fight. He said, “I will not give you a scoreline, but I think that the wining margin will be 10 points in favour of the All Blacks!”

Looks forward to seeing a good game of rugby

However, Kyle Brown, Captain of the South Africa (SA) Sevens Academy, begs to differ. He said, “I think that either team can win. I am impartial to who wins really, but I am looking forward to seeing a good game of rugby on Saturday night. Australia will be the underdogs, but I think that the Wallabies are willing to fight for that Number One spot and they have played some great rugby throughout this World Cup.”

Added Brown, “On the other hand though, the All Blacks have not been playing their best rugby, but they do have the potential to increase it two-fold and it will be impressive to watch, if they choose to do so.”

Players from the France Developmental Team are enjoying a nice meal pre-tournament.

Players from the France Developmental Team enjoying a nice pre-tournament meal.

Who does he think would win the World Cup? Said Brown, “I think Australia will win 23-16. Most people think that the All Blacks will win but everyone puts the All Blacks first simply because they are the top team. But I fancy an upset.”

“But then again though, I am not interested in the World Cup right now – because we have a Rugby 7s tournament to focus on this weekend,” he quickly added.

Excited about the SCC 7s tournament

Indeed, Brown is feeling very excited about the SCC 7s tournament this weekend – after a three-year absence from this competition. He said, “This is the first time that we have come back in three years – and Singapore is still incredibly hot! I thought that it would cool down but it hasn’t. There are also some really good teams here and I think that our side will have to step up and play some really good rugby to make it all the way to the end.”

Players from the Singapore Cricket Club Rugby Team are chilling out.

Players from the Singapore Cricket Club (SCC) Rugby Team chilling out.

He added, “Winning the tournament is not really our number one objective though. Instead we want the young guys on the team to gain experience and playing in the SCC 7s allows just that. The SCC 7s is part of our pre-season and our focus will be the start of the World Series in December.”

The Singapore National Team are feeling good to go

For the Singapore National Team, they are excited about the prospect of facing the South Africans as well as other world-class teams taking part, such as the France developmental squad and the Penguins from the United Kingdom.

Said Chow, “I think that the spirits amongst our players are really high and the vibe in training is great, so we are good to go. Everyone is good in this tournament though, and the standard is really high. We have players shaping up for the Olympics and some who have played in the World 7s series, so it will be a tough task for us this weekend and an eye-opening experience for all our our players.”

Hopes to use their smaller size to their advantage

These Swedish Vikings players look so relaxed.

These Swedish Vikings players looking relaxed.

As such, Chow admits that his side will be one of the smaller ones entering this tournament, and hopes to use this to their advantage. He said, “We would like to move the ball a lot more, instead of taking too much contact. We have a specific structure and game plan that we have trained with and we will use that to outwit the teams.”

He added, “The team definitely has the talent to get a few scalps, but then again, it really boils down to the day itself – if we get our plans together, then the outcome will be good.”

The heat and humidity in Singapore will be a struggle

One thing though, is that the Singapore National Team may be able to use their familiarity with the Singapore climate and the local food, as well as the lack of jet lag to their advantage.

Players mingle around with each other prior to the media press conference.

Players relaxing brfore the media press conference.

Said Brown, “We may be used to playing in temperatures of 30 to 35 degrees C, but we hardly deal with the humidity levels in Singapore – a lot of teams, including us, will definitely struggle in this weather and you will see some tired bodies. But that is where the fitness is going to come through.”

Added John Brake, the Captain of the England Developmental Team, “Travelling halfway across the world to play rugby is always going to be demanding. The weather in England is so nice and when we travel, there are problems such as jet lag and the challenges to overcome these. But then again most of the teams in this tournament will be facing the same problem anyway.”

An exciting line-up of rugby and entertainment for fans this year

Jonathan Leow, Chairman of the SSC International Rugby 7s Organising Committee is very excited about the SCC Rugby 7s this weekend. He said, “We have a very exciting line-up this year and fans should prepare themselves for an exciting weekend of rugby with their friends and families. We look forward to seeing the teams battle it out and it’s going to be another memorable weekend of rugby festival not to be missed.”

National Sprinter and Hurdler Dipna Lim-Prasad (extreme left), interacting with the team captains of the various teams during the official press conference. (Photo Credit: Singapore Cricket Club)

National Sprinter and Hurdler Dipna Lim-Prasad (extreme left), talking to the team captains during the official press conference. (Photo Credit: Singapore Cricket Club)

Besides the actual rugby action, there will also be a carnival-like atmosphere with plenty of food and beverages for sale. Added Leow, “In fact, the carnival aspect of Rugby 7s is what everyone goes there for. Besides the adults, we have many things catered for the kids too such as a bouncy castle and childcare services. And of course not forgetting the Rugby World Cup Final screening on Saturday night for everyone.”

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