KUALA LUMPUR – The Cobra Rugby 10s tournament showcasing international teams will be held on Nov 10 and 11 this year to give Malaysians an opportunity to watch spectacular rugby action live at their own backyard.
Cobra Rugby Club president Lt. Col (Rtd) Tommy Pereira said top clubs from rugby playing nations have been invited for the 16-team competition as part of Cobra’s 50th anniversary celebrations this year.
First held in 1967 among local clubs and a handful of invited foreign teams, the tournament took on an international stature from 1992 with the participation of Club teams from all over the world, featuring top players.
He said the club had carved a name for itself as the home of rugby 10s since it had introduced a tournament with 10 players in each side which eventually became a yearly tournament in Malaysia and hosted by Cobra Club.
“The concept of the Cobra 10s tournament is to make the game speedier and give a chance to Malaysian players who are smaller, than the Fijians, Aussies, Kiwis and others, a chance to put up a strong showing and win. This would be difficult in the traditional 15-a side game,” he said.
As part of the anniversary celebrations a legends’ rugby game featuring prominent players of the past, a golf tournament and a gala dinner would be organised in November and attended by Cobra members and friends from all over the world, to mark the Club’s achievements.
Pereira said the Cobra Club has grown into one of the premier rugby clubs in the region with a track record of producing excellent players, hosting exciting tournaments and being in the forefront of rugby development in the country.
Since it was established on June 8, 1967 by rugby enthusiasts with the aim of encouraging young Malaysians to continue playing rugby after leaving school, Cobra has since achieved milestone after milestone in embarking on rugby development programmes for adults and juniors for both genders.
Its achievements apart from producing players of calibre also include producing coaches from schools to national level, referees and officials with rugby administration and management know-how.
Pereira said the Cobra 10s Rugby programme for boys and girls between the ages of four and 14 has been highly successful in introducing the game to youngsters and there are dedicated foreign and local coaches contributing their time and effort every Sunday from 4pm to 6pm to train them.
“Cobra’s senior and junior teams have also excelled in local and regional tournaments and are in the top divisions of their respective leagues. These are through the dedication and efforts of Cobra members and supporters,” he added.
Tan Sri Krishnan Tan, who was Cobra president from 1995 to 2009, said the groundwork established by the club can be clearly seen today in terms of the number of enthusiasts playing the game after leaving school, youngsters who have matured into State, national and even international players and the rise in the number of coaches, referees and those in rugby administration.
“Cobra has been a leading contributor to the development of rugby in the country and this was showcased by the local and regional tournaments won by the Cobra teams and also the awards the Club has received,” he said.
In 1996, the club was awarded the National Sports Leadership Award by the National Sports Council of Malaysia for their contribution towards the promotion and development of rugby in Malaysia.
In 2002, COBRA was awarded the IOC Diploma by the International Olympic Council for its contribution to sports. – BERNAMA