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Ninth Angkor 10s tourney

Ninth Angkor 10s tourney

090904_18
ANZ Royal Bank CEO Stephen Higgins (left) presents the last year’s championship trophy to Phorn Bophan of Les Piliers d'Angkor.

Cambodian Federation of Rugby hosts its annual 10-a-side tournament

THE Cambodian Federation of Rugby announced Wednesday that ANZ Royal Bank will again serve as the major sponsor for the 2009 Angkor 10s Rugby Tournament, which takes place on October 23-24 at Olympic Stadium.

"We are pleased and honored to be associated once again with the great folks at ANZ Royal," said Angkor 10s tournament Co-Chairman Ray Leos.

"Their sponsorship has been vital to the success of the tournament down through the years, and we value their support."

Now in its ninth year, the Angkor 10s has become one of the most popular club rugby tournaments in Asia, attracting scores of club teams from across the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

Besides serving as the unofficial kickoff of the 2009-10 Cambodian rugby season, the tournament is the major annual fundraising event for the Cambodian Federation of Rugby (CFR), a nonprofit organisation devoted to national rugby development.

The tournament employs a 10-a-side format, as opposed to the 15-a-side format of the standard rugby union match. "It's a faster, more wide-open game, which makes it more exciting and fun to watch, especially for first-time spectators," remarked Leos.

In addition to the 10s competition October 24, the tournament will also feature a 15-a-side Veteran's competition for players 35 and over on October 23.

Teams from Australia, Dubai, France, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand; and two sides from Cambodia have been confirmed for next month's tournament.

In last year's Angkor 10s, Les Piliers d'Angkor, an all-Khmer side primarily composed of players from the Cambodian national rugby team, won the cup title, marking the first time an all-Khmer side had captured an Angkor 10s tournament championship.

Leos hopes that the number of Khmer players participating in the Angkor 10s will continue to grow.

"When the tournament began [in 2001], we had no Khmer players participating," he said. "The next year we had two, and last year we had over forty. We're hoping for a lot more this year."

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