James Sawyer, OM and a former Welsh Premiership player, currently plays for Kowloon Rugby Football Club at number 8. He was part of the Hong Kong side who lost 42-22 to Tonga last month in a Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification match in Queensland, Australia.
Hong Kong is ranked 21st in the world and seeking its maiden men's Rugby World Cup appearance. The team's next step is at a final qualification tournament in Dubai between 6th - 18th of November.
The repechage event features four teams from across Africa, Asia/Pacific, the Americas and Europe: USA, Portugal, Hong Kong, and Kenya.
The winner of the last-chance round-robin tournament will secure the 20th team ticket for France 2023 in Pool C alongside Wales, Australia, Fiji, and Georgia.
James, who represented the 1st XV when he was a student at Monmouth School for Boys, said: "It was a great experience playing against Tonga in Queensland. We’ve still got one more chance to qualify in November via the repechage, so we will take a lot of confidence into that.”
“I was unsure what to do after Uni but Jack Neville and Bryn Phillips sold me Hong Kong. They made the leap before me and I thought it was a good time. I took a punt by moving play some part-time rugby and see a different part of the world. I was only intending to be in Hong Kong for one or two years, but it has already been six years and I am loving it"
When James first arrived in Hong Kong, Kowloon, set him up with a teaching job and a flat. He then landed a permanent position with KPMG.