Two-prong mission for rugby squad at sea 7s in Singapore

Two-prong mission for rugby squad at sea 7s in Singapore

SERDANG: The country’s seven-a-side (7s) rugby squad have big dreams of accomplishing two important missions at the Southeast Asian 7s (SEA 7s) Championship that will take place in Singapore this May 2-3.

The head coach of the national 7s men’s rugby squad Nik Safuan Ismade Nik Man said his men must show encouraging performances to book a final slot as stipulated by the National Sports Council and Malaysia Rugby (MR).

In addition, they also need to run up as many game minutes as possible to improve their stamina before going to the Asia Rugby Seven Series Championship this September and November.

“We want to reach the final and at the same time need to pack in playing minutes for the main tournament which is the Asia Rugby Seven Series in South Korea and China in September while in Bangkok in November.

“(After all, this is) a combination between (six) new players and old players. If all goes according to script, there is no problem because the majority of them have at least played once in the local league,“ he told Bernama after a training session at the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) pitch here today.

Nik Safuan reminded his men not to take the international challenge lightly, which will see action by seven other countries namely Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia and the invited team of Taiwan.

He said at this time, it is important that the national players are free from injuries to ensure they are in fighting mood, starting with the friendly match with the Singapore team this Saturday (April 20) at the Mount Austin Rugby Stadium in Johor Bahru.

“There are three countries that we need to be wary of, which are Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines, while the friendly match will be more about maintaining the bond between players and seeing what our weaknesses are.

“Even Singapore will not settle for the main players. They are also trying to find core players in that (friendly match) so I have not set any KPI (key performance indicator),” he said.

Nik Safuan, 43, who is a former national player, said voting for the group draw will most likely only be known next week.

The Southeast Asian 7s tournament will take place at Jurong


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