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Hong Kong, 10 May 2012: Welsh wizard Shane Williams will make Hong Kong the venue for his final playing appearance when he turns out for the star-studded BGC APBs in the Chartis Cup next month.

The brilliant winger will be joined by his former Wales and Lions teammate Martyn Williams and ex-New Zealand flyer Rico Gear in a squad that already contains five former All Blacks – including 100-cap fullback Mils Muliaina – and a host of other Rugby World Cup stars.

The BGC APBs will take on reigning English Premiership champions Saracens – making their first ever visit to the Far East – in the Chartis Cup at Hong Kong Stadium on 9 June (kickoff time, 6:00pm).

“To have household names like Shane Williams, Martyn Williams and Rico Gear so heavily involved speaks volumes for the appeal of the BGC APBs and the lure of the Chartis Cup,” said Les Mouat, Chairman and Head of Distribution, Chartis Insurance Asia-Pacific.

“Not only will these vastly experience former internationals be guiding and inspiring the BGC APBs, they will be highly visible during Chartis Cup week, coaching youngsters, meeting fans and showcasing APBs rugby to the watching world.”

Shane Williams scored a record 58 tries for Wales in a glittering 11-year international career before retiring from test rugby last December. He is playing his final season for Welsh side Ospreys and will retire from all rugby this summer, with the Chartis Cup marking his final game as a professional player.

Martyn Williams will play for the BGC APBs shortly after winning his 100th cap for Wales in their match against the Barbarians in Cardiff on 2 June. Gear, meanwhile, scored 11 tries in 19 tests for the All Blacks from 2004-07.

Two other Wales-based players have also been confirmed for the BGC APBs – Llanelli Scarlets prop Deacon Manu captained Fiji at last year’s RWC while Ospreys scrumhalf Kahn Fotuali’i played for Samoa in the world showpiece.

Apart from Muliaina, ex-All Blacks Sitiveni Sivivatu, Jerry Collins, Troy Flavell and Neemia Tialata are in the squad together with flying Fijian Sireli Bobo and Samoan brothers Alesana and Henry Tuilagi.

The BGC APBs will return to Hong Kong for the high-profile fixture having already made a major impact in the territory with their Cup triumph at the recent GFI HKFC Tens.

BGC have also confirmed they are extending their sponsorship of the team to include the Chartis Cup fixture.

“Having been closely associated with the team in last year’s inaugural Chartis Cup and then the hugely successful Tens campaign, we are delighted to continue our support for this exciting and appealing rugby team,” said Len Harvey, Executive Managing Director and General Manager, Asia Pacific, BGC Partners.

Saracens, meanwhile, will continue the defence of their English Premiership crown this Saturday when they take on Leicester Tigers in the playoff semi-finals.

The Chartis Cup showdown will be the centrepiece of a day-long rugby festival that will feature mini and veterans tournaments and a Rugby Village next to Hong Kong Stadium where fans can watch the day’s international matches live on big screens later in the evening.

Tickets for the Chartis Cup – priced $300 for adults and $50 for children – can be purchased online at www.hkticketing.com or by calling the HK Ticketing hotline on 31288288. Fans can also buy in person from HK Ticketing's box offices and Tom Lee Music stores.

More information can be found at www.chartiscup.com.

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About Chartis

Chartis is a world leading property-casualty and general insurance organisation serving more than 70 million clients around the world. With one of the industry’s most extensive ranges of products and services, deep claims expertise and excellent financial strength, Chartis enables its commercial and personal insurance clients alike to manage virtually any risk with confidence.

Chartis is the marketing name for the worldwide property-casualty and general insurance operations of Chartis Inc. For additional information, please visit our website at www.chartisinsurance.com. All products are written by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of Chartis Inc. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions and is subject to actual policy language. Non-insurance products and services may be provided by independent third parties. Certain coverage may be provided by a surplus lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds and insureds are therefore not protected by such funds.

About APBs

Formed in 2010, the APBs are designed to showcase the vast array of rugby talent in Asia Pacific, with the occasional invited player from outside the region. Each squad typically contains household names and Rugby World Cup stars mixed with up-and-coming players from the emerging rugby nations, all infused with a commitment to demonstrate a true spirit of playing entertaining rugby. Off the field, the APBs are sociable, approachable and accessible to fans, and promote the game to players of all ages and abilities through coaching clinics and interaction with the rugby community. Crucially, the APBs carry a strong sense of social responsibility, seeking to ensure that their high profile and wide corporate connections allow various charities benefit from their activities.

Released on behalf of the Chartis Cup 2012 by Two Up Front – Asia's sports PR specialists.

For further information, please contact:

Niall Donnelly
Two Up Front
Tel: +852 2854 2136
Mob: +852 6052 3330
Fax: +852 3579 5955
Email: niall@tuf.com.hk

Molly Cheung
Two Up Front
Tel: +852 2110 5890
Mob: +852 6182 7672
Fax: +852 3579 5955
Email: molly@tuf.com.hk