This year’s edition, which will kick off on Feb 28 with each category finals scheduled for March 1, has seen growing interest over the years from local schools and schools in South-East Asia.
The tournament will again feature 24 teams comprising 21 local premier rugby schools drawn from Malaysia and the three foreign teams.
Malaysian Rugby Union (MRU) president Datuk Shahrul Zaman Yahya, who attended the launch, praised the tournament organisers, known as one of the best platforms for scouting junior rugby talent in the country, particularly for the 7s version of the game.
Shahrul said the tournament had a long history of producing rugby players who went on to represent Malaysia on the international stage at both the youth and senior levels.
“Competitions like the MCKK Premier 7s is seen as one of the more important platforms to ensure young talented players get the right coaching during their school years,” added Shahrul.
Shahrul also mentioned that the three South-East Asian teams would give rugby fans something special to look forward to.
“This proves that the development of Malaysian rugby is headed in the right direction.
“We hope the young talented players who emerge from this edition will go on to make our country proud,” he said.
Malay College Old Boys’ Association (MCOBA) president Tunku Datuk Ahmad Burhanuddin was also excited over the upcoming tourney.
“I am looking forward to the tourney’s 10th edition. This competition has never failed to attract teams from overseas and we have seen a steady rise in interest from foreign teams wanting to participate in this tournament, more so as it is Visit Malaysia 2020.”
“I would like to thank all our sponsors, especially those who have been with MCKK Premier 7s from the start and sharing our goals in developing the game of rugby.
“We hope that one day, Malaysian rugby can stand tall as one of the top teams in the world, perhaps maybe even qualify for the Rugby World Cup.
“Not only that, getting involved with rugby can also build character among our youth and inculcate in them the spirit of bravery and the will to keep fit even in their adult years,” Tunku Ahmad Burhanuddin added.
To be played at the hallowed rugby grounds of MCKK in Kuala Kangsar Perak, local teams are set to challenge for the title presently held by SM Sains Hulu Selangor (Semashur).
They include Royal Military College and Victoria Institution of Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru’s English College, Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah of Putrajaya, as well as previous winners, Sekolah Sukan Tunku Mahkota Ismail (SSTMI) and SMK Sri Mersing.
MCKK Rugby Premier 7s also has an eager royal fan in Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah. Sultan Nazrin is known for his love for rugby and is also the royal patron of MRU.
For the record, Semashur emerged champions in the previous edition, beating the hosts 24-10 in the final.
SSTMI have won the title a record four times — in 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2017 — MCKK (2013), Scots College New Zealand (2014), Hong Kong Sports School (2015) and SMK Sri Mersing in 2018.
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