Rugby: Singapore announces 25-man squad for Asian Five Nations next week

SINGAPORE has called up 11 new players for the upcoming HSBC Asian Five Nations Division two rugby tournament in Kuala Lumpur.

This will be Fijian Inoke Afeaki's first competition since he took on the national coaching role earlier this year.

The Reds will play their opening match against India on June 4. If they win, they will go straight into the final, where they will face either Malaysia or Iran.

The 25-man squad boasts a good mix of experienced campaigners and fresh new talents. A total of 14 players have been included from the Singapore Rugby Union's (SRU) academy programme.

Guiding them will be captain Daniel Marc Chow, vice-captain Muhd Zaki and veteran Gaspar Tan, who have 33 international caps between them.

"The training squad has trained very hard for the last three months, and we are very happy at the great mix that we have assembled," said Afeaki, who heads a coaching team that includes former England International James Forester and former New Zealand Provincial player Casey Mees.

On Friday, the SRU also signed a $100,000 sponsorship deal with equipment company BLK Sport, which supports the ACT Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels in the elite Super 15 competition, and the national teams of Manu Samoa and Fiji.

The Singapore squad: Daniel Marc Chow, Muhd Zaki, Gaspar Tan, Erik Vis, Sidney Kumar, Jonathan Lee, Nicholas Groen, Samuel Lau, Rob Hewitson, Neil Toy, Reiner Leong, Blandon Tan, Gabriel Lee, Murray Wyllie, Peter McFeely, Suhaimi Amran, Bryan Ng, Andrew Bourke, James Robertson, Simon Etheredge, Jonathan Kay, Ryan Cumbers, Alvin Ho, Hasif Azman, Matthew Roberts.