Pattaya gears up for another festival of rugby

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The weekend of 5th and 6th May 2012 will see the twelfth staging of the Pattaya 10’s Rugby Tournament, which is now known as the Amari Orchid Pattaya Chris Kays Memorial Tournament to perpetuate the memory of the former Pattaya Panthers captain, who was tragically killed in the Bali bombing in October 2002.

Once again the tournament will be staged at The Horseshoe Point Resort, the newly expanded playing field is superb and with the support of Khun Chainarin Srifuengfung, Khun Girana and their staff, we are sure that everybody will love playing or watching the rugby in such attractive surroundings.  There will be an open 10’s Tournament for men and a Junior Division (Under 15’s), which is now in its fourth year, to enable the youngsters to display their skills and potential on a major stage.

Pattaya 10’s rugby takes place at Horseshoe Point, May 5-6, 2012. Pattaya 10’s rugby takes place at Horseshoe Point, May 5-6, 2012.

There will be 16 teams in the main tournament and as usual this year there will be a very strong local influence led by the Old Bangkok Bangers and the newly invigorated Southerners!  We look forward to the return of The Royal Thai Police to defend their title and The Chiang Mai Suas, who were beaten in an epic Cup final for the second year running and they will be hoping that this will be their year … third time lucky?

Former champions Thai Barbarians will be back and other new names include Surin Bold and the Watsrichan Old Boys.

The overseas flavour will come from the Pau Ma Tei Barbarians a newly born touring side of the famous Valley RFC in Hong Kong and I am very pleased to report that following extensive chronometer retraining one of our favourite teams the Buccaneers from Australia have actually managed to book their tour for the correct weekend this year and we look forward to their return to the tournament.

Of course crowd favourites The Bangkok Japanese will be looking to upset some of the more favoured teams.  There will not be such a strong academic influence this year as our tournament clashes with the University games so many University sides will be missing however Thammasat University will be making their first appearance at the tournament.

Don’t underestimate the hosts who have been training hard on the field under new coach Des Halls and new Captain Adrien Simon, the leader of the French revolution!

A tournament such as this could not be staged without the backing of the generous sponsors and this year the Amari Orchid Resort have become the tournament principal sponsor and the tournament will therefore be known as the Amari Orchid Pattaya Chris Kays Memorial Tournament.  There has also been significant support received from MBMG International, Jamesons and Cranes & Equipment Asia.

In addition the Panthers would also like to thank other tournament sponsors Construction Cost Consultants, Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, Aus Group (formerly Modern Industries), CR Asia Ltd., Waste Management Services Thailand, Societe Generale de Surveillance, Jardine Shipping Services, Phoenix Pacific Inc., Icebreaker and Rhenus Logistics.

Players and friends will get together on Friday night (4th May) for a “welcoming party and training session” at Jamesons the Irish Pub.  The action begins at 9am on Saturday and concludes around 6pm Sunday in what should be a memorable weekend festival of rugby – there will be almost 24 hours of entertaining rugby action during the two days.

Note: the U 15’s tournament will be played from 16:00 to 19:00 on Saturday evening and will conclude between 08:00 and 10:00 on Sunday morning.

“The weather is forecast to be fine and the venue is in perfect condition so we have no doubt that this will be the best tournament yet,” said Chairman of the Pattaya Panthers, Jim Howard.