SINGAPORE-based Australian International School will add to the already glowing line-up of teams at this year’s MCKK Premier 7s Rugby Championships from Feb 26-28 in Kuala Kangsar, Perak.
The Australians can expect some form of trepidation being in the company of defending champions Hong Kong Sports School, 2014 champions Scots College of New Zealand, two-time winners Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School of Johor and 2013 champions The Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK).
Completing the field along with the past champions will be 20 other Malaysian premier schools that are ready for the tough challenge ahead.
Last year, Hong Kong Sports School became the fourth champion to lift the Datuk NJ Ryan Trophy, with a 31-12 victory over 2014 champions Scots College from Strathmore, Wellington.
The MCKK Premier 7s Championship is jointly organised by the MCKK and All Blacks Revival (ABR) Committee of The Malay College Old Boys’ Association (MCOBA) with blessings from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Sports, and Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
The Under-17 invitational championship also enjoys the patronage of the Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah and will see a carnival-like atmosphere throughout the three-day tournament.
MCOBA president Datuk Ghazali Mat Ariff who is expecting superb rugby on display said, “We have witnessed fantastic support from foreign and local school teams since 2011.
“However, in the last two years the trophy was won by Scots College and Hong Kong Sports School and this makes it very exciting and challenging.
“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 there is never a favourite team,” he added.
Special advisor to the Youth and Sports Ministry Datuk Dr. Ramlan Abdul Aziz, said the tournament had become one of the premier events on the rugby calendar and an established driver of the sport after catching the attention and imagination of those in the sports community.
Tournament director Amrul Hazarin added that the tournament has been acknowledged by the World Rugby Events Global Marketing Coordinator for South East Asia that the Malay College Premier 7s was a prime example on how the game should be promoted’.
“The smart partnership between government related companies, 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,” he said.
“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 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 and Big Tree Outdoor Sdn Bhd.
Among those in attendance at the launch of the MCKK Premier 7s 2016 Rugby championship were organising committee co-chairman Wan Kamaruddin Wan Mohamed Ali, sponsors and former MCKK students.