KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Rugby Union (MRU) for the first time in history are splitting the national rugby players into two teams – the Sevens and 15s.
MRU president Datuk Wira Amiruddin Embi hailed the move as a positive and professional step forward.
The Sevens side will concentrate on the Commonwealth, Asian and SEA Games and international Sevens tournaments, while the 15s side will focus on the Super League, Super Cup, Agong’s Cup and other 15s competitions including the Asian Five Nations.
“Not every Sevens coach will know the mechanics of playing rugby 15s and vice versa. Having players switch and adapt between both styles poses a problem just because Sevens is played at a much quicker pace,” said national Sevens manager Fahmy Jalil.
Meanwhile, the national Sevens team confirmed their historic 10-day stint in Cape Town, South Africa, where the team will train and play alongside the Springboks from Monday.
It is part of Malaysia’s preparations ahead of the Commonwealth and Asian Games.
The 12-player squad, accompanied by four officials, will play 15 to 20 matches while in Cape Town. This includes matches against local clubs including the Maties Rugby Club. They will also take part in coaching clinics for young players from the Starter Academy and Maties Rugby Academy.
A match against Kenya may also be on the cards as the Kenyans will be in Cape Town during that period.