Kuala Lumpur (4 February, 2016): Singapore-based Australian International School (AIS) will add glitter to the already glowing and glamorous MCKK Premier 7s 2016 Rugby Championships from Feb 26-28 in Kuala Kangsar.
The Australians can expect some form of trepidations as they have for company defending champions Hong Kong Sports School, 2014 champions Scots College of New Zealand, two-time winners Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School of Johor (SSTMI) and 2013 champions The Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK).
Joining the reigning and former champions will be 20 other Malaysian premier schools that are geared up for the tough challenges ahead.
Thailand’s Vajiravudh College, a familiar face since the introduction of the Premier 7s in 2011, will take a back seat in this sixth edition of the series owing to early domestic competitions. However, the presence of the Hong Kong boys, Kiwis, Australians and local challenges is convincing enough of a highly exciting event.
In 2015, Hong Kong Sports School became the fourth champion of the coveted Dato’ NJ Ryan Trophy, with a 31-12 victory over Scots College of New Zealand. Scots College was the winner of the 4th edition, with all-round performance including by Malo Tuitama and TJ Va’a, now Super Rugby players with the Hurricanes.
Jointly organised by the Malay College Kuala Kangsar and All Blacks Revival (ABR) Committee of The Malay College Old Boys’ Association (MCOBA), the MCKK Premier 7’s 2016 has the blessings of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Sports, and Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
MCOBA President, Dato’ Ghazali Mat Ariff, said the MCKK Premier 7s 2016 Rugby championship under the patronage of His Royal Highness the Sultan of Perak, DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan Nazrin Muizuddin Shah Ibni Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfurlah, will continue to enjoy the carnival-like festive for three days.
“We have witnessed fantastic support from foreign and local school teams since 2011. However, in the last two years the trophy was won by Scot College and Hong Kong Sports School and this makes it very exciting and challenging,” said Dato’ Ghazali at a press conference today at the MCOBA Building in Kuala Lumpur.
“We hope to see the rise of local teams to win the trophy back from their illustrious foreign opponents. The MCKK Premier 7s is always full of surprises as they are never a favourite team,” he added.
Among those in attendance at the launch of the MCKK Premier 7s 2016 Rugby championship were Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz, who is Special Advisor to the Youth and Sports Ministry, Wan Kamaruddin Wan Mohamed Ali, the co-chairman of the Organising Committee, sponsors and former MCKK students.
Amrul Hazarin, the Tournament Director, added that it has been acknowledged by Rugby World Cup 2019, World Rugby Events Global Marketing Coordinator For South East Asia that “the Malay College Premier 7s is a prime example how the game should be promoted. The smart partnership between Government Related Companies (GLCs), Corporations, the Old Boys Association, the school, various government agencies and other stakeholders has made MCKK Premier 7s as one of the prestigious school rugby tournaments in the region.”
“The Organising Committee wishes to take this opportunity to record our appreciation for the support provided by Telekom Malaysia Berhad as the Title Sponsor of the MCKK Premier 7s 2016 Rugby Tournament,” said Dato’ Ghazali adding that the tournament would not have been possible without support from the corporate sector.
He also acknowledged the support provided by all major sponsors, in particular Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Ranhill Bhd, Cyberview Sdn Bhd, Scomi, Ernst & Young, Casuarina Hotels, RF Empire Resources, Proton, Modenas, KPJ Healthcare Bhd, Aimar Resources (Carisbrook), Supreme Landmobile & Wireless Corporation, SA Cargo Sdn Bhd, Disitu Holdings, Milo, New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd and Big Tree Outdoor Sdn Bhd.
The NJ Ryan Throphy is in honour of the late Dato’ NJ Ryan, who initiated the formation of a rugby team in MCKK and was also the ninth principal of the college. The Malay College All Blacks, as it was popularly known, went on to become a rugby powerhouse in the country, winning many state and national level championships.