It’s another first for Los Cóndores as they face Hong Kong in Round 2 of the Regal Hotels Cup of Nations on Tuesday. The two teams met earlier this year at the world renowned Hong Kong Sevens but have never squared off in a full-on test match until now.
Following the opening round that saw the Dragons lose to Russia thanks to a late penalty goal from Ramil Gaisin, Hong Kong are now just three spots ahead of Chile on the World Rugby Rankings making this the closest match on paper in the tournament.
The two sides have taken very different approaches on only three days rest. Head coach Leigh Jones has opted to make wholesale changes to his Hong Kong team, retaining only three players who ran out against the Bears.
A new-look front row sees hooker Ben Roberts handed the captaincy with regular skipper and back row Nick Hewson rested. James Cunningham and Thomas Lamboley – brother of former France lock Grégory – continue but there are new flankers in Kane Boucaut and Matt Lamming.
Jamie Hood switches from scrumhalf to fullback to accommodate Liam Slatem who partners Jack Neville in the halfbacks, the latter making his run-on debut. The rest of the backline is swapped out entirely with USRC Tigers duo Sam Purvis and Tyler Spitz paired in the midfield.
Chile meanwhile make only a single change to the starting lineup with hugely experienced Juan Pablo Perrotta replacing Sergio Bascuñan at scrumhalf. Uncapped 19-year-old Domingo Saavedra is called up to the bench where there is one further change with flyhalf Benjamín Pizarro in at the expense of Javier Lavanderos.
The Cóndores earned a convincing if somewhat sloppy win over Kenya on Friday and will be keen to replicate the results albeit improve their performance. A dominant scrum set the platform against the Simbas and is where they will look to maintain an advantage over Hong Kong.
Kickoff is set for 7pm local time, 6am Eastern, 8am Chile. A live stream is available on the Hong Kong RFU Facebook page.
1 Ben Higgins, 2 Ben Roberts (capt.), 3 Jack Parfitt, 4 James Cunningham, 5 Kyle Sullivan, 6 Kane Boucaut, 7 Matt Lamming, 8 Thomas Lamboley, 9 Liam Slatem, 10 Jack Neville, 11 Ally Maclay, 12 Sam Purvis, 13 Tyler Spitz, 14 Marcus Ramage, 15 Jamie Hood
Replacements: 16 Dayne Jans, 17 Dan Barlow, 18 Adam Fullgrabe, 19 Dylan Rogers, 20 Adrian Griffiths, 21 Cado Lee, 22 Matt Rosslee, 23 Conor Hartley
1 Claudio Zamorano, 2 Tomás Dussaillant, 3 José Tomás Munita, 4 Nikola Bursic, 5 Mario Mayol, 6 Javier Richard, 7 Anton Petrowitsch, 8 Benjamín Soto, 9 Juan Pablo Perrotta, 10 Santiago Videla, 11 Franco Velarde, 12 Francisco de la Fuente, 13 José Ignacio Larenas (capt.), 14 Mauricio Urrutia, 15 Tomás Ianiszewski
Replacements: 16 Ignacio Guajardo, 17 Vittorio Lastra, 18 Marco Díaz, 19 Bastián Burgener, 20 Manuel Dagnino, 21 Domingo Saavedra, 22 Benjamín Pizarro, 23 Matías Balbontín
Date: Tuesday, November 14
Venue: King’s Park, Hong Kong
Kickoff: 19:00 local (06:00 Eastern, 08:00 Chile)
Referee: Maxime Burlet (FBRB)
Assistants: Federico Anselmi (UAR) & Matt Rodden (HKRFU)
TMO: Peter White (HKRFU)
Broadcasts: Facebook Stream