In the seven-a-side version of the rugby, players with a good sprint are prized possessions for any team. And when it comes to sprinting, Tom McQueen is one of the swiftest in Asia. In fact, the Hong Kong national team winger's abilities are vital to his side's style of play. "My job is to finish off the move," says McQueen. "My teammates do all the work in the middle, they get the ball and pull away defenders. I just have to take off on the wings and score the try," he says, pointing at his teammates in the background. McQueen's performance was one of the driving forces that led his side to victory at the Mumbai leg of the Asian Rugby Sevens over the weekend.
Charging up and down the flanks on Bombay Gymkhana's rain-drenched ground, Hong Kong's number 11 noticeably stayed away from the center of the field. Hugging the wing of the pitch, McQueen used his pace wisely and effectively to dodge incoming tacklers. He would often break free of the defence and score a try unchallenged, but on the few occasions that he would get tackled, he did just enough to ensure the ball was passed to another teammate. His performances led some of the officials in the organisers area dubbing him 'a real flyer.'
Born and brought up in Hong Kong to a Scottish father and an English mother, the 23-year old has been playing rugby since he was six when he joined the Kai Tak Tigers club. "I copied my brother, Alex at school. He was a year ahead of me and used to play rugby at the club. So I started playing as well," he says. Going along with the trend of copying his brother, McQueen soon started taking part in basketball as well, though it would prove to be a very short-lived experience. "I was an average player at basketball, but I played rugby much better. So it was an obvious decision for me to focus on rugby," he says.
While playing rugby as a mere hobby during his school days, the winger claims to have