AFTER a dismal Malaysian Rugby Union (MRU) Super League campaign this year, hosts Negri Sembilan Wanderers have sent a clear signal of intent when they announced a formidable squad for the Power International Royal Sevens at the Seremban Municipal Council (MPS) ground on June 30-Jul 1.
Team manager Fahmi Jalil said Wanderers have signed four Fijians who had featured for their country who won the Hong Kong Sevens in March. They are backs Numaia Rokubuli, Jone Matawalu, and forwards Samy Rabuka and Seremaia Barutu.
Despite the calibre of the foreigners within their ranks, Fahmi downplayed his side's chances at the tournament this year.
"We definitely have a much stronger team compared to 2011 as we were going through a transitional stage then and had featured South African imports for the first time," said Fahmi when met after the tournament's launch at the Royal Selangor Club, Dataran Merdeka yesterday.
"We want to challenge for our seventh overall title as we did badly last year. However, it is clear that it won't be an easy feat. I am confident in my team's ability to do well based on the players we have and preparations we have made.
"With the quality of teams at the competition, a run to the semi-final will be satisfactory. However, our ultimate goal is to win it."
Fahmi added: "With due respect to the other teams, we expect defending champions (Cobra) and Sibu Rugby Club, who will be fielding six Fijian imports, to be the favourites."
The Royal Sevens will also feature a tournament for schools which will run parallel with the main event.
The competition has attracted school teams from South Africa, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan besides local schools. By Fadhli Ishak