Sports Hub will host A-Division Rugby final

A view of the Singapore Sports Hub.
A view of the Singapore Sports Hub. PHOTO: ST FILE

School players will fire up the crowd before Sunwolves v Sharks Super Rugby clash

Schools A Division rugby players will not only get the chance to play at the National Stadium this year, but also the chance to share the stage with Super Rugby professionals on the same day.

The A Division rugby final on May 20 will be a curtain-raiser for the Super Rugby clash between the Sunwolves and South Africa's Sharks - the last of the Japanese side's three home games here this season.

Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) vice-president Jonathan Leow told The Straits Times: "Holding a schools final at the National Stadium as a curtain-raiser to a Super Rugby match is part of SRU's vision of engaging and uniting the community.

"It's important because it can reach a wider audience, and the community gets the opportunity to participate in the activities."

The SRU invited the Schools National rugby organising committee to stage last year's A Division final at the Sports Hub as a curtain-raiser for the May 14 Super Rugby match between the Sunwolves and the Stormers.

But the Schools National rugby convenor declined the invitation, citing the possibility of matches not being completed on time owing to unpredictable weather.

Last year's A Division rugby final took place on May 19.

In 2014, the Schools C Division rugby final between Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and St Andrew's Secondary School (SAS) was at the National Stadium - a first for a schools final.

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The entire experience was nothing like any other field that I have ever been on. Reflecting on the loss in 2014, I view this as an opportunity for redemption.

JACKIE CHAN, SAJC prop, on SAS' loss to ACS(I) in the 2014 C Division rugby final at the National Stadium.

This year's A Division rugby season begins on April 3.

ACS(I) lock Ian Teh, who was part of the C Division team in 2014, hopes for the chance to relive the experience of playing at the 55,000-seat National Stadium with his new team-mates.

Reflecting on the 2014 final, which ACS(I) won 28-8, the 17-year-old said: "When you play at the National Stadium and everyone cheers for you, the sound echoes around the stadium and it's comforting knowing that there are people supporting you.

"In 2014 I played with team-mates my age but now in the A Division, I'm playing with a new team where most of them are my seniors. If we reach the finals and play at the National Stadium, I think it'll be a great experience for all of us."

St Andrew's Junior College prop Jackie Chan, who played for SAS in the 2014 C Division final, added: "The entire experience was nothing like any other field that I have ever been on.

"Reflecting on the loss in 2014, I view this as an opportunity for redemption. The news will motivate me to push myself harder."

Singapore Sports Hub's senior director Chin Sau Ho said: "The Sports Hub is committed to helping develop sports excellence and participation in Singapore.

"We hope that the chance to play at the National Stadium in front of the home crowd and exposure to international players will inspire the students to dream bigger and go further in their sporting pursuits."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 09, 2017, with the headline 'Sports Hub will host A-Division Rugby final'. Print Edition | Subscribe