29 June 2017 – Malaysia will continue their dream journey into the 2019 Japan Rugby World Cup next April. After winning the Asia Rugby Championship Division 1 – 2017, Malaysia received promotion and will take on South Korea and Hong Kong in the 3 ways match – with home and away fixtures.
Malaysia will start the 2018 Premier campaign against South Korea on the 28th April. Bunga Raya then will welcome Hong Kong a week later. There are no exact location for both matches but it should be done at a much bigger location compare to what in Ipoh as Malaysia will certainly welcome a larger amount of crowd for both matches. Stadium Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya should be in the consideration as it will be the venue for rugby in the upcoming 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
Malaysia then will fly to Seoul as they will take on South Korea in the return leg on 12th May 2018 before they end their campaign in Hong Kong as they will take on Hong Kong on 19th May 2017.
Hong Kong who finished second behind Japan in this year Asia Rugby Championship Premier will be the hot favourite to win the competition. They were certainly the much better side compare to South Korea who lost all 4 matches, including to Hong Kong in their last two Premier match.
Hong Kong ranked 24 in the World Ranking at the moment while South Korea who were having disastrous 2017 campaign drop out from top 30 as they sit at 31st. Malaysia who were the biggest climber after winning the Division 1 is now sit at the 47th rank, Asia 5th rank nation behind Sri Lanka (41).
Malaysia will be eager to make the most of the chance and make sure that rank does not play much affect, just like what they did to Sri Lanka when they comfortably dominate and beat in the last match match of Asia Rugby Championship – Division 1.
Photos by Zainuddin Mamat/ragbionline[event_calendar 3126]