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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian rugby teams prepare for start of season

Cambodian rugby teams prepare for start of season

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PSE Garuda flanker Vong Vannak (centre, with ball) eludes the grasp of Ben Miles of the Sisowath Kinghts during action at last month’s Angkor 10s rugby tournament at Olympic Stadium.

PSE Garudas to chase a fifth successive Premiership title in their opening match against the Sisowath Knights on Sunday

THE Cambodian Rugby Premiership begins its 2009-2010 season this Sunday with defending Premiership champions PSE Garudas facing the Sisowath Knights at 4pm at Phnom Penh’s Old Stadium.

The Garudas have won the Premiership title four years in a row and are favored to win again this year, but expect strong competition from Phnom Penh clubs Stade Khmer and the Sisowath Knights.

Garuda captain Pich Ratana is cautiously optimistic about his team’s chances in the upcoming campaign.

“We have a good mixture of older players and new, young guys,” said the Garuda skipper. “But I also think the other clubs will be much improved this season, so we will have to be at our best.”

The Sisowath Knights, who finished third in last year’s Premiership standings, will again feature a big forward pack, and have also added some new faces in their back line that the club hope will bring some balance to their offensive attack.

However, recent injuries to three key starting backs – halfback and club captain Luke Wilkie, fly half Conrad Warren, and center Dan Parkes – will hamper the Knights on Sunday.

Wilkie is suffering from a severely sprained wrist, Warren a separated shoulder, and Parkes a knee injury suffered during preseason training.
“It will be devastating not to have these guys on the field, said Sisowath coach Brian Thomas. “But we will try our best and see what happens.”

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