JOHOR BAHRU (19 AUGUST 2019): With the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan only a month away, there is no better way to look forward to it than to join in the rough and tumble at the eagerly awaited Johor Rugby Carnival 2019 as rugby fans from the southern state and nationwide come together to celebrate their love for the sport on 24th and 25th August 2019 at EduCity Sports Complex.
Organised by the Johor Rugby Union with the support of the Johor Education Department, Johor Sports Council, Malaysian Rugby Union and Iskandar Puteri City Council, this edition will mark the 10th-year since its inaugural edition in 2009 which has, through the years, successfully promoted and supported the development of rugby in Johor.
This year, there will be three different age groups for boys Rugby 7s during the carnival – the Iskandar Investment Bhd Cup (Under-16), the Mayor MBIP Cup (Under-14) and the Milo Cup (Under-11) while in the girls’ category, they will scrum it out for the Iskandar Investment Bhd Cup (Under-16).
Teams from some of the best rugby-playing schools and academies in the country will be battling it out in their respective categories including names like Tun Hussein Onn Rugby, Sek Men Sains Hulu Selangor, KL Saracens, Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK), Sekolah Seri Mersing, Terengganu Rugby Academy, Royal Military College (RMC), Sekolah Men Sains Selangor and Selangor Rugby Academy.
The Government Servants Welfare Sports Council (MAKSAK) Rugby 7s Tournament 2019 will coincide with this year’s carnival and will be played at the same venue from 22nd August till 25th August 2019.
President of Johor Rugby Union Dato’ Hj Noorazam Bin Dato’ Hj Osman is thrilled to have witnessed this carnival expand and evolve from a regional tournament to an international spectacle through the years and asserted the importance of such events.
“This is the biggest rugby carnival in Malaysia, and it will continue to grow just like the sport in the country,” said Noorazam. “To be successful on the international stage, we need a big pool of players to choose from and by grooming and providing a platform for these young players to show-off their talent, we can definitely achieve this goal.”
He added: “This carnival showcases the state’s long and proud history of rugby as a conduit for fostering unity as rugby is known as a gentleman’s game and is played by individuals from various backgrounds. Having said that, we are also very proud to support a sustainable sports culture in the country.”
Rugby in Johor, of late, has been growing at a rapid pace and expanding in stature especially at grassroots level with the state’s Under-18 team successfully retaining the Malaysia School Sports Council (MSSM) title for a second year running.
To give the Johor Rugby Carnival 2019 some excitement and an extra boost, former captain of the All Blacks 7s team Rodney So’oialo will be making appearances around the state to impart his valuable knowledge and experiences of the sport to local enthusiasts.
Capped an impressive 62 times, So’oialo will spend time with the teams competing in the carnival as they prepare to do battle. He will also have a session with the Johor MAKSAK squad in addition to scheduled meet-and-greet sessions and conducting a coaching clinic for teams representing Johor in upcoming tournaments including SUKMA 2020, Piala Agong and MSSM.
Other partners on board to support this year’s carnival are Iskandar Investment Berhad, Ranhill SAJ, Nestle-MILO, Johor Corporation (JCORP), Sports Johor Sdn Bhd, ATF Sport Taping, Educity Berhad, KPJ Healthcare (M) Sdn Bhd and RuggerDistrict.