Another boost on the way
THE Malaysian rugby scene could see a change for the better as something interesting is brewing following a collaboration with New Zealand Rugby (NZR), Rugby Football Union (RFU) and International Rugby Academy of New Zealand (IRANZ).
This was revealed by Malaysia Rugby Union (MRU) president Datuk Shahrul Zaman Yahya when asked about Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s work visit to New Zealand last month which saw him indicate a collaboration in the making with NZR and IRANZ on his Twitter page.
“There’s a possible partnership, possible collaboration which we are trying to finalise but it’s best that he (Khairy) announces because it’s almost finalised.
“It will be a mixture of NRDP (National Rugby Development Plan) and for the high performance — the national team .”
Shahrul added that the mission to qualify for the Rugby World Cup in 2019 is already on the way with the men’s team set to defend their Asian Rugby Championship Division One title.
For the Sea Games in August, MRU, who have put the gold medal as the target for the men’s rugby sevens team, will make the final cutoff list of players in July.
“They are continuing preparations after they won the Langkawi Sevens (beat Sahoca Reds 26-21), and are now making preparations to go for training in Auckland.
“They will be there for about 11 days and the technical director of the men’s sevens, who is one of the All Blacks Sevens coaches (Edwin Cocker), will help fine tune the team.”
Despite half the team being injured after the Borneo Sevens in Sandakan last March, Shahrul is optimistic the team will bring home the gold.
“The team are looking well, now it’s just a matter of how to improve on certain final details — especially the psychological part.”
At the 2015 Sea Games in Singapore, Malaysia won silver after they were defeated by the Philippines Volcanoes 24-7. Farah Azharie