RM100,000 for a ti­tle

New Straits Times - - Sport -

A RM100,000 in­cen­tive awaits the na­tional team if they suc­cess­fully de­fend their ti­tle at the Asia Rugby Cham­pi­onship (ARC) Divi­sion 1 on May 14-20 in Ipoh.

This was an­nounced by Malaysia Rugby Union (MRU) pres­i­dent Datuk Shahrul Zaman Yahya in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day.

Shahrul said: “This is the best way to show our com­mit­ment to bridging the gap as the pop­u­lar sports would get higher in­cen­tives in com­par­i­son to some­thing like rugby.”

The win­ners of this year’s ARC will be pro­moted to the Pre­mier Divi­sion with a shot at qual­i­fy­ing for the 2019 World Cup in Ja­pan.

World Cup qualification is the rea­son why the men’s 15s team have been mak­ing ex­ten­sive prepa­ra­tions since last month.

“The team just came back from Perth and we cer­tainly hope that they will de­fend the cham­pi­onship when the tour­na­ment takes place.”

Coach Lee Nyuk Fah said his play­ers are ex­pected to be 100 per cent fit as they will be ready men­tally and phys­i­cally to face op­po­nents from Sri Lanka, the Philip­pines and pow­er­houses United Arab Emi­rates (UAE).

“Key player, Eto (Vaka Saukuru), is in­jured (an­kle) but apart from that, the rest of the boys’ in­juries are just mus­cles.”

Eto will be re­placed by Mers­ing Ea­gles’ Vu­nimoku Ti­moci as the team face UAE in their opener on May 14 at Padang Ipoh be­fore meet­ing the Philip­pines on May 17 and fin­ish­ing off against Sri Lanka on May 20. Farah Azharie

This is the best way to show our com­mit­ment to bridging the gap as the pop­u­lar sports would get higher in­cen­tives in com­par­i­son to some­thing like rugby. DATUK SHAHRUL ZAMAN YAHYA

MRU pres­i­dent

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