Division III – Teams

According to A5N 2013 rankings - Division III East

Guam

Guam

 

This will be their sixth consecutive season in Division Three and Guam, known as ‘the Rock’ for its volcanic base, will be hoping they finally have the right foundation to top the group. 

 

Heavily influenced by USA Rugby from where a number of their players are drawn, they will be a threat as the top seeds in Division III East and should be able to comfortably ward off the challenge from second seeds Indonesia, third seeds China and hosts Laos.

 

Indonesia

Indonesia

 

If Indonesia can get just a fraction of is population playing rugby, the rest of Asia better beware. The world’s fourth-most populous country – 242 million and counting – is still struggling to come to grips with the game.

 

Yet a solid performance in the same division last year - with an encouraging win over China - proves they are developing the core of a competitive team. 

 

If Indonesia can reprise their win over China in this year's semi-finals  they will book their spot in their first tournament final since 2008.

 

Indonesia

China

 

The love affair with the abbreviated sevens version has resulted in China losing their focus in the 15-a-side game resulting in the national team struggling in the lower echelons.

 

They have been see-sawing between Division Two and Division three in the last couple of seasons, being relegated from Division III last year only to be saved by the increasing competitiveness of Division IV teams and the regionalisation of the two competitions on an East and West basis for 2014. 

 

China will enter the Division III East tournament as the third seeds behind Guam and Indonesia but ahead of Laos in rankings. 

 

Laos

 

Lao Rugby proved to be the surprise package of last year's Division IV in Dubai, pushing Pakistan to the limits in the opening semi-final before losing 31-25 and losing the 3rd-4th play-off by just three points (18-15) to Uzbekistan. 

 

That surprise statement from the Lao XV on their debut at Division IV level proves their pedigree for the regionalised Division III East in 2014.

 

The hosts are the fourth seeds for the tournament in May but will be hoping for its traditional fervent support from local rugby supporters in the Vientiane and the chants of "Lao Soo Soo" to push them further up the Division III standings in May.

 

 

According to A5N 2013 rankings - Division III West

 

Guam

India

 

India were relegated to Division III last year after finishing in fourth place at the Division II championships in Kuala Lumpur, losing to Singapore and Iran. 

 

India will be facing some unknown quantities in 2014 after the regionalisation of Division III and IV, with an opening match against fourth seeds Uzbekistan.

 

The right result in a potential India-Pakistan final could be just the thing it needs to turn the minds of the masses in Mumbai and elsewhere in the country from Cricket to Rugby.

 

Indonesia

Lebanon

 

Lebanon were the outright winners of last year's Division IV and have figured in the final on two previous occasions at this level.

 

The side has a strong rugby league background that has helped them stay competitive with an eye on promotion up the rugby ladder. 

 

This year's challenge is made more difficult for Lebanon by the new regional alignment of Division III and IV teams, with Lebanon's route to the trophy now having to go through Pakistan and the winner of the India v Uzbekistan semi-final.  

 

Still, the boys from Beirut have never shrunk from a challenge and are expected to make another strong showing after beating Pakistan in last year's Division IV final.

 

Indonesia

Pakistan

 

After surviving an early scare against Laos, Pakistan reached the Division IV final last year before bowing out to Lebanon 45-12 in what was considered a disappointing performance for the team. 

 

The team will be hoping for improved fortunes on the first occasion the Asian 5 Nations has been hosted in Pakistan since its inception in 2008. 

 

Pakistan will open the tournament against its old rival Lebanon but will be hoping for an improved result if it has hopes to reach the final. 

 

Uzbekistan

 

Uzbekistan maintained its grip on its Division III spot for 2014 after eking out an 18-15 win in the 3rd/4th place play-off over Laos last season in Dubai. 

 

Recent years have seen Uzbekistan improve match by match but they have yet to win an opening semi-final that would see them book their first finals spot since they hosted the tournament in 2009. 

 

An early match-up against fancied India who were relegated from Division II last year will pose a stern challenge for the team from Tashkent.

 

See also

Division III – Knockout

Division III – Match Results

Division III – Top Scorers

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