12 July 2017 – 16 players are still on the book for the limited 12 spots to represent Malaysia at the Asia Rugby 7s Under 20 in Hong Kong this coming August. Sekolah Sukan Tunku Mahkota Ismail dominate the list with 13 players while Kolej Vokasional Arau (Perlis), Kolej Vokasional Wakaf Tembusu (Terengganu) and Institut Pendidikan Guru have one each.
Malaysia Under 20 team finished 4th in the last year edition. They are hoping to do even better this year with the final match as the target for them.
The team made early preparation since June as they already undergo the first phase from 8 June to 18th June 2017 at the SSTMI. They also had two test match against Rimau 7s, the national team, on course to prepare for the upcoming SEA Games. They lost both matches 35 – 5 and 49 – 12 but gained some valuable experience.
They are now in phase two where they started on 5th July 2017, right after the Aidilfitri celebration. They also have another test match on 11 July 2017 against the National Under 17 team who is also preparing for Asia Rugby 7s Under 17 in September. The Under 20 managed to win the first two 15 – 0 and 10 – 0 before the Under 17 tied them for draw 5 – 5 in the last and third match.
Syed Syazril Syed Mahadzir, the Under 20 coach shared that they will use the ELITE 7’s tournament this week to test the lineup. They could also drop few players right after the tournament.
The team will head to Terengganu for four days right after the ELITE 7s. They will be there from 18 until 21 July where they will have test match against the Terengganu 7s team.
Phase 3 of training will start 23rd July to 2 August as they will head back to SSTMI for the session. They will have a few more test match against local Johor team.
The team manage by Che Zulkarnain, with Syed Syazril Syed Mahadzir as the head coach and the help from Izaimi Zainuddin from MRSM Kuala Terengganu as the assistant will fly to Hong Kong on the 3rd of August. The Asia Rugby 7s Under 20 will start from 4 to 5 August 2017. Malaysia will participate in both Men and Women category.
The Malaysia Under 20 Men Player pool are :
1. Muhammad Abdul Karim Md Nasir (SSTMI)
2. Muhammad Afiq Zulkernain (SSTMI)
3. Nazrin Aiman bin Ahmad Taufik (SSTMI)
4. Sufi Hafizuddin Hadwan Abdul Halim (SSTMI)
5. Mohd Shahzan Yanni Zulfuri (SSTMI)
6. Rozaihan Roslee (SSTMI)
7. Zulmajdi Kamarazali (SSTMI)
8. Muhammad A’aziem Badaruddin (SSTMI)
9. Muhammad Safiy Md Said (SSTMI)
10. Aqib Mustammim Jailani (SSTMI)
11. Arif Asyraf Shamsuddin (SSTMI)
12. Ezwan Aqim Mohd Ezani (SSTMI)
13. Muhammad Khalil Azman (SSTMI)
14. Mohd Faris Abdillah (IPG)
15. Mohd Hafizuddin Mohd Akhir (KV Arau)
16. Muhammad Haikal Ibrahim (KV WKF)
You can catch this team in action this weekend at MBPJ Stadium. They will play as the Bunga Raya Junior as they will take on Keris Conlay, NS Wanderers, and Singa Malaya from Singapore in Group A.
Photos credited to Syed Syazril and Zainuddin Mamat/ragbionline