5 August 2019 – Less than a week before the beginning of the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy, Malaysia 7s head coach, Saizul Hafifi is starting to feel the heat. Malaysia is set to travel to Indonesia as they will compete with another 10 teams for the trophy.
“We want to win the Asia Trophy. We want to get the promotion, to play in the Asia Series again.” shared Hafifi as contacted. He also acknowledge fellow South East Asia teams, Thailand and Singapore as the strongest contender for the title. The three teams played one another in series of test match months back in Bangkok and if it is based on that result, Malaysia should have the upper hand.
“We are also not to sure what to expect from India and Uzbekistan. We do not have much information about them but we expect them to be strong as well.” added Hafifi.
Malaysia need to win the trophy as the ticket to play in the Asia Series in 2020. Malaysia relegated last year as they finished 8th after 3 series.
The head coach is expected to announce his 12 players to travel to Indonesia soon. It should still be a very strong squad although the 7s team already lost their captain, Zulkiflee Azmi who has to commit to his career. Azwan Zuwairi Mat Zizi is certain to make the squad and alongside Amalul Hazim Nasaruddin who produced outstanding display in 2018 Asia Series.
Asia Rugby 7s Trophy is one of the target for the 7s squad other than their ambition to retain the gold medal they won back in 2017 during the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games. The 2019 SEA Games will take place in the Philippines at the end of this year.