DEFENDING CHAMPS: Malaysia’s team is ready and confident of winning again the Asia Junior 7’s Under 20 tournament
JOHOR BARU: FROM today to Sunday, the Dataran Bandaraya Johor Baru will see some rugby action as Malaysia will defend their title in the Asian Rugby Football Union (Arfu) Asia Junior 7's Under 20 Rugby Tournament.
The preliminary rounds of the rugby tournament will kick off on Saturday with 10 international teams including those from Japan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Brunei participating in the Arfu Asia Junior 7's Under 20 Rugby Tournament. The final round will be held on Sunday.
Malaysia is scheduled to compete against China for the first group match on Saturday, followed by the Philippines, Singapore on the same day and Japan on Sunday.
"We are ready to fight and we believe that we can still keep the trophy in our hands this year," said national team manager, Ibrahim Che Awang, recently.
"Last year, we fought against Hong Kong during the final match while Japan was unable to participate during the previous tournament. Therefore, we are expecting to receive very stiff challenges from the Japanese and Hong Kong teams this year," he added.
A total of 64 teams will be participating in the Iskandar Malaysia 10's Rugby Challenge for both Under 15 and Under 18 category.
Teams from top schools from all over Malaysia namely SM Sains Selangor and Sekolah Sukan Tunku Mahkota Ismail have confirmed their participation this year.
This year the JRC2012 will also introduce the Johor Ladies 7's International Open where four teams will compete over the weekend in a contact rugby format.
Teams from Malaysia and Singapore are expected to participate in this tournament. Other tournaments will be the Johor Mini Rugby 7's Under 11 comprising 32 teams and the Veteran Revival Friendly Match between the Johor Otai and Singapore Veteran.
Johor Rugby Union president Mohd Noorazam Osman said the objective of the JRC2012 was not about competition, but rather instilling the spirit of sport and to promote rugby as a people's sport.
The carnival promises a fun-filled weekend for the people of Johor Baru and all other Malaysians who will be coming down to be a part of this international sports event.
Besides the rugby action, there will also be performances by local artistes, a karaoke competition, Ferrari Car showcase, Battle of the Bands competition among many other fun activities throughout the four-day carnival.
The Johor Rugby Union (JRU) is the organising sports body in Johor that is involved in planning, monitoring and developing rugby in the state.