Team Malaysia U19 competes at the Top Division for the first time in December 2016

by yradmin |

PETALING JAYA, 29 November – Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M), COBRA Rugby Club and the Malaysia Rugby Union today announced that Malaysia will be competing for the first time in the Top Division of the Asia Rugby U19 Championship 2016, the region’s highlight for rugby competition at the U19 level. They also named the 25-man squad for Team Malaysia.

This marks the culmination of 2 and a half years of work under the 1Malaysia COBRA Youth Rugby Programme which commenced in July 2014.

“The programme spared no effort to scout for good players nationwide. In 2014, trials were held in Sabah and Sarawak as well as Peninsular Malaysia; in 2015 and 2016, the 1Malaysia COBRA 15s (U19) Tournament was used as a scouting platform for players,” said COBRA President Lt. Col (Retd) Tommy Pereira during the announcement at the COBRA Rugby Club today.

“This year, more than 300 players representing 10 teams participated in the U19 league. We shortlisted 50 players from that number. The 25 players in the final squad represent the best from the nation,” he continued.

The programme has reached out to over 5,000 players and coaches since its inception, by way of coaching clinics, rugby tournaments and weekend school sessions, which has also given the opportunities for youth players to continue playing rugby after leaving secondary school, trained more coaches, as well as create more opportunities for the players, both on and off the field.

YR1M Chief Executive Officer Ung Su Ling said that the collaboration with COBRA to form the 1Malaysia COBRA Youth Rugby Programme, aims to improve the participation of rugby at youth level, as well as to position Team Malaysia U19 with the opportunity of competing in the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2017.

“Since 2014, Team Malaysia U19 has risen from Asia Rugby’s Division 2A to the Top Division. To qualify for the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2017 will be a monumental task, but we believe that Team Malaysia U19, together with the support of the rugby fraternity and the nation, can achieve success at this level,” she concluded.

Malaysia Rugby Union President YB Dato’ Shahrul Zaman bin Yahya said that the progress of Team Malaysia U19 is encouraging and hopes that the players involved in the tournament will continue to represent the country in the future.

“I would also like to thank YR1M as well as the COBRA Rugby Club for their on-going support for youth rugby development. Without their dedication and strong collaboration, our U19 team would not be where they are now,” he added.

The championship will take place at Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang on 11, 14 and 17 December and will involve Asian powerhouses Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Chinese Taipei.