After prolonged weeks of waiting, Rugby Agong’s Cup 2019 are well underway with 14 teams went through their first round of group stage yesterday. Only Pulau Pinang and Sabah did not participate this weekend as Sabah will qualify straight to the knock out rounds as Borneo representatives and Pulau Pinang belongs in a group of three in Division 2 B along with Perlis and PDRM.
This year’s edition welcomes a new rule change as all teams are allowed to register up to 4 naturalized players in their squad as opposed to 3 players in previous editions. Vice President Kesatuan Ragbi Malaysia (KRM), Mohamad Fahmy Abd Jalil, also noted that only 3 naturalized players are allowed on the field at any given time.
Mohamad Fahmy, also the KRM Tournament Director, said during last week’s press conference that this approach is being taken to uplifts the level of rugby in Malaysia and as a preparation for our national players in a bid to defend their title as SEA Games champions in Philippines this coming December.
With the rising standards and funds injected into local teams, more talented local players tend to fall into the abyss of money and greed as such they chose not to represent their local state and play for the states that can pay their salaries. According to certain parties of the Malaysian Rugby fans, this is where the line must be drawn and regulation for player eligibility must be enforced to ensure fair play to all participating teams and an overall healthy environment for Malaysian Rugby.
Below is the full results for Group Stage Week 1 :-