KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia have the potential to play in the 2019 Rugby World Cup for the first time and the journey begins this Saturday when the national 15-aside squad start their Asian Rugby Championship (ARC) 2018 campaign at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The championship involved three countries namely Malaysia, world no. 22 Hong Kong and South Korea ranked 31st.
According to national chief coach, Lee Nyuk Fah both countries would be the stumbling block for Malaysia to clinch the slot to the World Cup in Japan.
After beating world no. 42 Sri Lanka to defend the ARC Division 1 champions last year, Malaysia are now ranked 45th in the world and want to continue progressing further that.
“Before this, the national squad were only competing in division one and two. Being in the ARC facing Hong Kong and South Korea is a vast improvement for the country,” he added.
The national squad will meet South Korea on Saturday and face Hong Kong on May 5 before completing the remaining two matches against South Korea (May 19) and Hong Kong (May 26).
If Malaysia emerged champions, the national squad would be playing in the Asia/Oceania Zone knockout round and if successful again, Malaysia will clinch a slot to the 2019 World Cup at the world repechage round which is the final hurdle to realise the dream to Japan. – BERNAMA