20 May 2018 – Malaysia dream to defend the gold medal in the upcoming SEA Games shattered by the latest info from the Philippines. In the press release from the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) on the 17th May, rugby is not one of the 30 sports approved for the games.
Malaysia won the gold for the first time in the men category. They overcame Singapore in the final match after they finished first during the round robin. Malaysia also secured the bronze in the women category as they beat upcoming SEA Games host, the Philippines in the 3rd/4th matches. Thailand won gold for women.
The decision to exclude rugby in 2019 Philippines SEA Games may be due to their inability to secure any medal in the previous edition. Both Philippines team finished fourth despite the strong performance. The Philippines won gold for men and bronze for women back in 2015.
Malaysia could still defend the gold as Malaysia Rugby Union will need to suggest Olympic Council of Malaysia to appeal for the sport to be held in 2019. They have up until 13th June to appeal.
Malaysia 7s team is preparing for the upcoming Asia Games in Indonesia later this year. They are dreaming to secure any medal after gained tons of experience in the recent outing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.