Organized rugby in Kunming began to be played consistently in 2011 when five expats responded to a GoKunming classified ad. They met to play a game of touch rugby on the Yunnan University volleyball courts to the great bemusement of a small crowd of locals.
Two years on, the team has racked up frequent flier miles traveling to Chengdu, Shanghai and Xiamen for competitions. Now the Kunming Rugby Football Club — perhaps better known as the Flying Tigers — are ready to host their first ever tournament.
Five teams from south China will compete for the Spring City Cup on Saturday, December 7. Facing up against the Flying Tigers are the Chengdu Pandas, the Chongqing Conquerors, the Guangzhou Rams, and the Xiamen Typhoons. Two women's teams, the Chengdu Ruckin Reds and the Xiamen Mazus, will also play a match.
Teams competing in the tournament will play fifteen-a-side, full-contact rugby with the only deviation from official rules being shorter games. The men's teams will play a round-robin format and the team with the most wins or points at the end of the tournament will lift the trophy.
Rugby is a game for all shapes, sizes and abilities. Speed, agility, handling skills and above all, teamwork are integral skills for any successful team. The Flying Tigers and their guests look forward to showcasing the intense and sometimes brutal ballet that is rugby.
The Spring City Cup will be held from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, December 7, at the Southwest Forestry University (西南林亚大学). Come meet all the teams at a pre-party at Moondog on the evening of December 6.
At the stadium, burgers and fries will be on offer from O'Reilly's Irish Pub, which is also providing the teams with lunch. They will be serving Carlsberg beer on draught as well. A tournament after party will be held at Club Vervo following the games.
The Flying Tigers would appreciate any and all hometown support as they seek to kick off their inaugural tournament with a win! For more information email Kunming[dot]rugby[at]gmail[dot]com or call Tristram at 18213489253.
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