Stade Khmer Rugby Club will go down in the chronicles of Cambodian history as the first team ever to take part in the prestigious Chris Kays Memorial Rugby 10s tournament being played on Saturday in Thailand’s coastal city of Pattaya.
With high hopes of making this trip a trend-setting one for the Kingdom, the team will leave Phnom Penh in the early hours of tomorrow monring and grab some training time in the late afternoon ahead of their first match at the Horseshoe Point Resort pitch.
Arguably one of Phnom Penh’s frontline outfits, Stade Khmer will have nine local players of whom Tho Khemara will be making his first overseas trip. Seven expats add muscle to the team which has been placed in the four-team Pool C.
In all, there are 16 teams in the fray split into four groups in this one-day event. Stade Khmer will open their campaign against Khon Kaen Blue Hawks in the morning and play two more matches later in intervals of around three hours against Bangkok Bangers and Thai Mosquitoes F Team.
“Stade Khmer is happy to participate in a tournament outside the country. The main objective is to provide local players an opportunity to travel and enhance their rugby experiences,” Jean-Baptiste Suberbie, club president and program development manager of Kampuchea Balopp, told the Post yesterday.
Kampuchea Balopp is a local charity organisation striving for youth development through rugby.
“It is the first time a Cambodian team is taking part in this tournament. We are happy and proud to represent the country and we will make sure that this will be a trip to remember,” added Suberbie.
“We do not know much about the quality of the teams and their skill levels but our aim is to enrich our experience and play to the best of our ability.”