The Malaysian Rugby Union (MRU) are ready to go for the 29th Southeast Asian Games edition in Kuala Lumpur which will lift off on 19 August.

In collaboration with the Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS), National Sports Council (MSN), National Sports Institute (ISN), and the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), the MRU  will host the Elite 7s 2017 serving as a build up towards the KL2017 Games at the MBPJ Stadium in Petaling Jaya from 16-17 July.

Fahmy Jalil, the MRU tournament director, was pleased with the progress of the workforce and the coordination of the tournament.

“The tournament is a test event for the Games in terms of the technical requirement. We’re running the tournament to make sure that there is proper timing so that everything goes smoothly.

“We have the medical team ready and the referees and volunteers are prepping up well towards the Games.

“So basically from MRU’s part, I think we’re 90% there and the other 10% will be to touch up in terms of communications and the facilities,” said Fahmy.

The venue, however, is still a work-in-progress.

“The facilities – players’ lounge, changing rooms and washrooms – will be in ready.

“But I believe within this month, the organization in charge – MASOC, MSN or MBPJ – will have the venue ready before the actual tournament takes place.

“Our tournament will begin on the 19th and 20th August. So hopefully they get it completed at least before the 10th as we need to be fully prepared as well,” explained Fahmy.

Fahmy also added that the MRU have set their sights on the gold medal in the men’s event and the ladies are targetted to win at least the bronze.

In the Rugby 7s, seven nations – hosts Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos – are expected to compete in the 6-team men and women event.

In the men’s event, the 2015 silver medallists Malaysia will be accompanied by the defending champions Philippines, Singapore (bronze), Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia.

While in the other event, the Malaysian ladies will meet gold medallists Thailand, Singapore (silver), Philippines (bronze), Indonesia, and Laos. – BY ALVIN OH

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