Asia Pacific Dragons stacked with international stars
Written by Rapid Rugby
The Asia Pacific Dragon has sent an ominous warning to the Western Force ahead of their Friday night blockbuster clash, stacking their squad with 10 international test players as well as an Australian 7’s representative.
The Singapore based side has a proud history, formed back in 2011, they have played games across the globe and bring a strong legacy and experience into a full-time professional program.
After three months together training and refining their game style, Friday’s match will be the Asia Pacific Dragons debut in the Global Rapid Rugby Showcase. Fijian International Asaeli Tikoirotuma, who will start on the right wing, will be one the side’s key attacking weapons. Having played in the English Premiership with Harlequins and London Irish, as well as Super Rugby with the Chiefs, Tikoirotuma will revel in the open expanses provided by Rapid Rugby’s innovative laws.
Boasting some of the fastest feet going around, Australian 7’s representative Junior Laloifi will start at fullback for the visitors. Look out for him to light up the scoreboard, the 25-year-old a proven threat having been the leading try scorer in the first two seasons of the National Rugby Championship before graduating to Super Rugby in 2016 with the Queensland Reds.
The Dragons will be captained by Samoan International Stacey Illi, who forms tough centres pairing with Tongan 2015 World Cup representative Latiume Fosita. Another Tongan star, Nili Latu, will give the forwards plenty of punch. The evergreen 37-year-old has been training the house down since joining the Asia Pacific Dragon following four years in the English Premiership with the Newcastle Falcons.
The Dragons travel to Perth to tackle a Western Force side high on confidence having won their opening two matches and scored 10 tries in the process. While wary of the home side’s attacking nous, the Dragons will fight fire with fire, drawing on the clubs philosophy and tradition of attacking and entertaining rugby.
Asia Pacific Dragons owner, Jon Phelps, said the Asia Showcase Series provided a wonderful platform to compete internationally for a new global audience against some of rugby finest.
“Our vision is to build a team with the largest rugby fanbase in the world, a team that Asia, the Pacific Islands and rugby-loving fans can support and call their own,” Mr Phelps said.
Asia Showcase Series
Western Force v Asia Pacific Dragons
Friday, 12 April 2019
Family entertainment starts 6.10pm / Kick-off 7.45pm
Starting XV: 1.Latu TALAKAI*, 2.Sekonaia POLE, 3.Ropate RINAKAMA*, 4.Louis CONRADIE, 5. Joketani KOROI, 6.Michael MCKEE, 7.Nili LATU* (VC), 8.Naulia DAWAI*, 9.Kurt HAMMER, 10.Kali HALA*, 11.Mitchell SCOTT, 12.Latiume FOSITA*, 13. Stacy ILLI* (C), 14.Asaeli TIKOIROTUMA*, 15.Junior LALOIFI
Reserves: 16.Michael LEA, 17.Taniela KOROI*, 18.Haamea AHIO, 19.Erwin TU, 20.Declan MARTENS, 21.Leon FUKOFUKA, 22.Sireli BOBO*, 23.Zac HARRISON JONES
*Denotes International Test experience