Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Koupreys lock horns with Laos in the Mekong Cup

Koupreys lock horns with Laos in the Mekong Cup

Koupreys lock horns with Laos in the Mekong Cup

110714_28
Cambodia’s Chey Sophal tries to hold off a Laos player during their Asian Five Nations rugby match in Phnom Penh last year.

Neighbouring rivals Cambodia and Laos are set to make rugby history this Saturday when they line up at the Old Stadium for the inaugural Mekong Cup, in association with the HSBC Asian Five Nations competition.

The international fixture has come to symbolise the growing bond between the two nations, as the Cambodian national team, nicknamed the Koupreys, first play hosts and then turn guests in the return fixture in Vientiane on July 30.

Traditionally, a trophy has been awarded to the side winning their solitary encounter of the annual Asian Five Nations Division V stage. But from this year onwards, it has a separate identity and a tag of its own, marking a new phase of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

The Koupreys, led by irrepressible captain Pich Ratana, have been going through rigorous training sessions under head coach Richard Flanagan of Ireland.

Other members of the coaching staff include Frenchman Sylvere Barrillon and compatriot Pascal Mancuzo, a rugby development coach from French club Montepellier.

“The Cambodian team has been training twice a week for the last three months and it has gone quite well,” coach Flanagan told the Post yesterday.

“We concentrate more on rugby skills and development and fitness has never been a problem with our players. We have seen some videos of the Laos team and we are well prepared and confident.”

The coach also noted that the new format has made the tie “more competitive.”

Excitement is running high in both camps as the countdown begins for what promises to be an absorbing contest set for a 3:30pm kickoff. Entry to the stadium is free and the Cambodian Rugby Federation has launched a passionate appeal for all rugby enthusiasts to make it to the game in big numbers in support of the home side.

Cambodian squad list
(with domestic clubs)
Chro Kim Seng (Sisowath Knights)
Koeut Sovan Raksmey (S Knights)
Mom Samrach (S Knights)
Tun Sopha (PSE Garudas)  
Nong Sovanrado (S Knights)
Ut Vuthy (PSE Garudas)
Vong Vannak (PSE Garudas)
Dan Wetherall (S Knights)
Phorn Bophan (PSE Garudas)
Pich Ratana (PSE Garudas)
Mout Sarom (Stade Khmer)
Luke Wilkie (Sisowath Knights)  
Khoeun Sangsa (Stade Khmer)
Dul Khemrin (Stade Khmer)
Nhab Rotha (PSE Garudas)
Uk Dara (PSE Garudas)
Dul Khemararaingsey (S Knights)
Pen Sophea (Stade Khmer)
Loem Bonpuv (PSE Garudas)
Em Ratana (Stade Khmer)
Lach Sopeara (PSE Garudas)
Man Salida (Stade Khmer)
Reserves
Chan Samedi (PSE Garudas)
Noun Leng (PSE Garudas)

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Snaring may spawn diseases

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post

  • Residence cards set for over 80,000 immigrants

    The Ministry of Interior plans to grant residence cards to more than 80,000 immigrants to better keep track of them. The ministry announced the plan on July 10, following the results of an immigration census. “An inter-ministerial committee and many operational working groups have been set up

  • Kingdom produces PPE gear

    Medical supplies from Cambodia have been donated to member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assist in the fight against Covid-19, said an ADB report published on July 9. The report stated that the supplies were donated as a response to global efforts to

  • Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

    At an academic forum on Saturday to celebrate 70 years of Cambodia-US diplomatic ties, Cambodian researchers and officials expressed hope of encouraging US investments and for that country to deepen and improve its bilateral relations. Held at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, it reviewed the past 70

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The