Rugby: SRU appoints Gene Tong as technical director

(From left) New SRU technical director Gene Tong, former SRU president Low Teo Ping, and national women's rugby head coach Wang Shao Ing at the SEA Games in 2015.
(From left) New SRU technical director Gene Tong, former SRU president Low Teo Ping, and national women's rugby head coach Wang Shao Ing at the SEA Games in 2015.PHOTO: SINGAPORE RUGBY UNION

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) announced the appointment of a new technical director on Thursday (July 13).

Gene Tong, who succeeds Tongan Inoke Afeaki in the role, will be responsible for the development and implementation of high performance structures for the national teams.

He will also mentor local coaches with the collective aim of improving the on-field performance of Singapore rugby.

Tong previously served as the head coach of the national women's sevens team for over a decade, leading the squad to a silver at the 2015 SEA Games.

"I am extremely proud yet humbled to take on the role as the SRU technical director. We have a good pool of talented and skilled players who have the potential to do even better," said Tong.

"Our aim is to improve the quality of rugby across all levels from grassroots through to the national teams and also implement high-performance measures which will improve our performances for the upcoming SEA Games, the Asian Games in 2018 and gain promotion back into Division 1 of the Asia Rugby Sevens Series as well as the Asia Rugby Championships."

Tong's appointment is the first such move made since SRU president Terence Khoo took the helm at the association's annual general meeting in June. Then, Khoo too had pledged to improve the performances of the national teams.

Tong has also brought in Lee Smith, a former director of coaching at the New Zealand Rugby Union, to assist him. Both Tong and Smith have worked with the SRU as part of a technical review team which resulted in the development of a five-year rugby development plan, which they will now implement during their term.