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Legendary Rod ‘The Man of Steel’


Excellent at the scrum, pinpoint accurate at the lineout and outstanding in the loose, Rosly Abdul Majid or well-known as ROD is the epitome of truly Malaysian spirit. Famous with his quick pass, tackles and turn of pace, Rod is always a threat to the opponent.

He made an immediate impact on his debut for the Malaysia Under-23 squad in 1979 and continuously giving his best until 1981 while playing for Malaysia senior team from 1980 to 1987.

We had the chance to meet Rod in person and share his awesome experience playing against top-class rugby players around the world.

How do you get the name ROD?                          

It was the Physic teacher in SMSJ, from England by mistake call my name “Rodly” instead of Rosly. It was there then I prefer to stick and maintain my nickname, ROD. The name became a trademark as I am commonly known amongst the rugby circles, players and fans by this name.

How do you get into rugby?

In school days I was hooked seriously to football, (playing days) representing at school and district level. I was very excited about football and was a fan of Holland player, the legendary, Johan Cruff. I intend to be a national football player to play for Malaysia.

Never had the intention to play rugby at all until when Cikgu Yunos Dahlan, who was our sports teacher and coach for the school football team invited the SMSJ football players to watch him playing in the rugby tournament (HMS Malaya Cup, now known as The Agong’s Cup).  He was playing for Johor. Apparently, Cikgu Yunos also played for the national team in the early ’70s. It was then I started learning to pick up rugby and selected to represent SMSJ rugby team in 1976 during my pre-Form 6 periods 1976 before pursuing further study in UiTM. I was asked to play the position Hooker and subsequently became my best choice position.

Rod with his team mates in the 80’s

It was from 1976 to 1980 I became  addicted to rugby whilst I was pursuing my study in UiTM. Coincidentally, at the same time Cikgu Yunos changed his career from sport teacher to join UiTM as an Assistant Sport officer.

From here, I took up rugby seriously being Cikgu Yunos given lots of guidance and tips for me to be a matured rugby player. Apart from Cikgu Yunos another person was Hj. Jalil Borhan (ex-Secretary to the Malaysian Rugby Union (MRU) who was then my rugby senior for the UiTM team (Intekma Lions).

He had given me support and encouragement all the years whilst I was studying and at the same time playing rugby in the duration of the 4 years period playing local tournaments at club and national levels before I was selected to play at the international level.

How good was Malaysian squad during 80’s?             

The team comprised of different sets of players throughout these years; 1980, 1981, 1982 -1983, and 1984-1985 in terms of players’ physical and size, speed, strength and skill, coordination, and understanding of each other’s style of play. The best set of players was in the 1982 -1983 team. This team composed of players each having their own expertise. Forward players physically with an average size were mobile and robust.

What to know more about MRU Squad of the ’80s? Subscribe now to Ragbi.MY e-magazine for full coverage of Malaysian rugby team that was dubbed the best four in Asia.


Name              :          Rosly bin Abd Majid

Nickname       :          Rod

Date of birth    :          25th August 1958

Place of birth   :          Johor Bahru

School             :          Sekolah Menengah Sains Johor (SMSJ), Kluang – 1975

University        :           Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM, formerly as ITM) – 1980

Position           :           Hooker

Present day Rod with Ragbi.MY special edition featuring himself and former MRU squad captain, Boon

This article was featured in Ragbi.MY 5th edition (June). To get a copy of this magazine or to subscribe to the e-magazine, click here.

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