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Malaysia’s top rugby playing schools and three foreign teams will battle it out in the 10th Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) Premier 7s Tournament on Feb 28-March 1. - NSTP File pic/EIZAIRI SHAMSUDIN

MALAYSIA’S top rugby playing schools and three foreign teams will battle it out in the 10th Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) Premier 7s Tournament on Feb 28-March 1.

Twenty-four teams will vie for the coveted NJ Ryan Trophy at the hallowed grounds of MCKK,

Twenty-one of the contenders are from schools across Malaysia while the other three entries are from Southeast Asia.

Sekolah Menengah Sains Hulu Selangor (SEMASHUR) emerged as champions last year. Among the contenders this time are Royal Military College, Victoria Institution of Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru’s English College, Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah of Putrajaya, Sekolah Sukan Tunku Mahkota Ismail, SMK Sri Mersing and hosts MCKK.

Malaysian Rugby Union president Datuk Shahrul Zaman Yahya said the MCKK Premier 7s is a great platform to scout for rugby talent in the country.

According to Shahrul, the MCKK Premier 7s has a history of producing many top players who went on to represent Malaysia.

“Competitions like the MCKK Premier 7s will ensure that young players get the right coaching during their school years.”

Shahrul said the presence of three foreign teams will promise something special for local fans as they will provide strong opposition to the 21 Malaysian teams.

Malay College Old Boys’ Association (MCOBA) president Tunku Ahmad Burhanuddin said: “I am looking forward to the organisation of the 10th edition of the MCKK Premier 7s

“This competition has never failed to attract teams from overseas and we have seen a steady rise of interest from foreign teams wanting to participate in this tournament, more so this year as it is Visit Malaysia Year 2020.

“I would like to thank all our sponsors, especially those who have been with MCKK Premier 7s from the start and sharing our goals in developing the game of rugby.

“We hope that one day, Malaysian rugby can stand tall as one of the top teams in the world, perhaps maybe even qualify for the Rugby World Cup.”

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