PETALING JAYA: The Cobra Invitational Rugby 10s tournament is back after a two-year lapse. And the tournament, to be held at the Petaling Jaya Stadium in Kelana Jaya from Sept 6-7, is set to be the biggest rugby event this year.
It will be the most glamourous two-day rugby carnival next month.
Malaysia's glamour event of the year, a leg of the IRB World Sevens Series leg in May this year, failed to take off after the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) scare hit the region.
The Cobra 10s, however, has received good response with teams from New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Samoa, South Korea and the US confirming participation. A total of 16 teams from 12 countries have confirmed their participation.
Combined Old Boys Rugby Association (Cobra) president Datuk Krishnan Tan said they could not host the tournament the last two years because of the Sept 11 incident in 2001 and the Bali bombing last year.
“Many teams were not willing to travel to Malaysia due to the negative publicity and travel advisories issued by their governments.
“The SARS epidemic and recently the Jakarta bombing incident created anxiety for us. Nevertheless, 12 foreign teams have confirmed their participation,'' Krishnan said after receiving mock cheques from title sponsors Carlsberg and other sponsors Adidas, Malaysian Airlines (MAS) and PJ Hilton.
The champions will pocket US$15,000 (RM57,000) while the runners-up will receive US$10,000 (RM38,000). The plate champions will take home RM5,000 (RM19,000) and runners-up will receive US$3,000 (RM11,400).
Tickets for the covered areas of the stadium are set at RM20 for the Western-main stand and RM10 for the Eastern stand. Entrance is free for the non-covered areas of the stadium.
Besides Cobra, the other local team invited for the tournament is Staroba Orange.
“The three top teams in the country are Cobra, Staroba Orange and NS Wanderers. The Wanderers could not make it as they will be playing in the Haadyai Sevens at the time,” said Cobra vice-president Jasvinder Singh Bhatt.
Cobra Selection, Staroba Orange (Malaysia), Australian Barbarians, China Rugby Union, Chinese Taiwan Rugby Union, Penguins International RFC of England, Red Rock Rugby Club of Fiji, South Korea Rugby Union, Wellington Sheperds, New Zealand Legends, New Zealand Universities; Boromas of Papua New Guinea, Samoa Rugby Union, Singapore Wanderers, Natal Duikers Rugby Club of South Africa and Grizzlies of Pacific Coast from United States.