The waiting is almost over, the combatants are now assembling and the weather is heating up to ensure that everybody will get a warm welcome at the 2017 Pattaya Rugby Festival.
The invaders will be arriving and attending a welcome reception at The Robin Hood Tavern on Friday evening and many old friendships will be revived before battle commences early on Saturday, April 29, in the seventeenth staging of the Chris Kays Memorial Rugby Tournament that wraps up on Sunday.
The tournament is a variation of the usual long game as the teams will comprise only 10 players per side and each game will be played over two halves of just seven minutes, so plenty of action.
The organizers will be welcoming 4 overseas teams including one all the way from England (the very entertaining La Vache Rouge from Derby), old friends the Vikings from Australia and the Valley Griffins and the Hong Kong Scottish from Hong Kong. In addition the entire expat rugby community and all the usual local suspects from Thailand will be there.
Royal Thai Police will be making a welcome return as former champions and Old Vajirawudhians will be making their first appearance in the tournament, while a completely new team Sam Yan Rangers will complete the quality field. Many old rivalries will be revived on the playing field commencing at 10:00 am on Saturday morning.
There will be a total of 24 games in the initial round-robin stages of the main tournament on Saturday, followed by rest and recreation, maybe a stroll along Beach Road and then early to bed with hot cocoa and biscuits on Saturday night! The knockout stages of the tournament will commence at approximately 09:30 am on Sunday morning and will conclude with the Cup Final at around 17:00, to be followed by the now famous presentation ceremony around the pool at Horseshoe Point.
Please do come and support your local heroes and have some fun and great craic at the same time. There will be lots of diversions to keep the little ones happy while mum and dad enjoy some great rugby and good food & drink.
The weather is forecast to be fine and very hot but the beer and cider served by the Robin Hood girls will be very cold! Thai Beverage has donated a quantity of Chang beer, which will also be served ice cold. Steve Mines the “Pie Man” from the London Pie Shop will also be on hand to satisfy your hunger alongside the usual delicacies from the Robin Hood kitchen. With the venue being in perfect condition, this promises to be another spectacular tournament.