Brunei students for 7s rugby meet
| Jake Ten |
A MIXED team of students from International School Brunei and Jerudong International School departed for the 2013 Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) Premier 7s Rugby Tournament.
Fourteen students travelled to Kuala Lumpur, led by team manager Mark Pyrgos and assistant coach Guy Velzian, for the U17s tournament, which will take place today and tomorrow.
Twenty-four teams will be taking part in this year’s edition, which will include four international teams. The Brunei International School team will be joined by Thailand’s Vajiravudh College, Singapore’s Australia International School and the Hong Kong Sports School. They will be competing against 20 of Malaysia’s best rugby-playing schools.
BIS will be playing in Group C, and have been pitched against the hosts, Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK), Victoria Institution (VI) and Sekolah Menengah Sultan Abdul Halim (SEMSAH).
“It’s a good chance for them because normally they are playing against each other, so it’ll be good exposure for them,” remarked head coach Johannas Hickey, who did not travel with the squad.
Whilst the Brunei Rugby Football Union has played a big role in the team’s formation, development and registration for the tournament, the trip itself is completely self-funded.
“All the players are going on the trip at their own expense because they love rugby!” exclaimed Johannas.
“They’ve been training together for a month, but they’ve also been training with their school teams since the start of the year,” he added.
“We’ve only managed to get one training session in a week because I’ve had to coach several other teams, but to fit one session in a week was quite good.”
Ratujosateki Tuivanuavouwcokanasiga, Maurizio Fornerino, Bailey Thorpe, Irvin Delbrah, Thomas Turton, Andre Pertuit, Christopher Abraham, Foliga Mundia, Ben Goy, Michael Ryan, Ted Pyrgos, Graydon Mollison and Anton Clements will all be representing the Brunei International School team, with the only local, Md Ali bin Awg Timbang, also joining the fray.
Ali, 16, played his first game for the U20 national team at the age of 14, and was also an ever present force at the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) Under-20 Sevens Rugby Tournament in Johor in June of last year.
“He’s got a great step and is good in defence,” said Johannas of the scrum-half.
“He’s a real talent and definitely one for the future of Bruneian rugby.”