MRU rope in former All Black as coach

The Malaysian Rugby Union (MRU) have announced former All Black captain Rodney So'oialo as the new coach for the national 15s rugby team.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Rugby Union (MRU) have appointed former All Blacks captain Rodney So’oialo for the national 15s team ahead of the Asia Rugby Champion-ship (ARC).

The competition in Hong Kong early next year will be played at one venue instead of its usual home-and-away format with Malaysia playing hosts to Hong Kong on Jan 31 and South Korea on Feb 2.

So’oialo played for the All Blacks from 2002-2009 and earned 62 caps.

He won the 2001 Rugby World Cup Sevens and 2002 Commonwealth Games Rugby 7’s gold medal.

He also has vast coaching experience, handling Honda Heat in Japan (2011-2012), Wellington Lions (2016-2017), Verona Rugby Club, Italy (2018-2019) and Tawa Rugby (2020). His latest coaching role was with the Trinity College in Sri Lanka.

The 41-year-old has also served as an educator in the International Rugby Academy of New Zealand (IRANZ), All Blacks selection panel in 2020.

So’oialo is expected to arrive in Malaysia on Oct 31 and would take charge of the team after completing his Covid-19 quarantine.

“I’m excited to start the job and ready for the challenge. I believe with a proper preparation, Malaysia can give a fierce fight in the upcoming tournament,” said the Kiwi.

“Rome was not built in a day and more time is needed to rebuild a perfect team, so I hope that the fans will be patient and trust the process,” he said in a video conference.

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