History Of Rugby In Malaysia

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Rugby in Malaysia is very much older than most people realise. Earlier records shows that the game was being played with great enthusiasm by our predecessors more than a century ago and the rugby match which until recently was one of the most important items in the domestic rugby programme had its beginnings in the 1890's. In those days however there was not much scope for players outside Singapore. The inter club match between the Singapore Cricket Club and the Selangor Club was first played in 1902. But rugby had not begun in Perak and the only match was an annual "Scotland Vs Rest of The World" in Penang which was played in each November in the memory of St. Andrew.

Progress was slow up to the days of the 1st World War but the game in Malaya received a tremendous fillip from the visit of the battleship "HMS Malaya" and the presentation of the "HMS Malaya Cup". This trophy which was meant so much for the game in this country was presented by Captain H. T. butler and the officers of the battleship in 1921 on the occasion of the vessel's first visit to the land whose money built her during the war in 1914 - 1918. During their stay, the ship's officers and crews engaged in a carnival programme of sport all over the country and it was rugby that they proved keenest and most proficient. They played five games during their stay. They were beaten by Selangor 05 - 03 and Ipoh District 03 - 00 but they beat Singapore 11 - 00, Malacca 20 - 04 and Negeri Sembilan 05 - 03. So the honours were with the visitors. After the ship departed, the officers sent to the Chief Secretary, FMS, and the two trophies which are known as the "Malaya Cup". One for rugby and the other for football. They were given perpetuity for annual competitions.

It was decided by a committee formed among the states that the competition should be organised on inter-states lines in two sessions. The northern and southern states playing against each other on the knock-out principle and the champions of each section contesting for the final.

In the northern section, there were four competition sides - Selangor, Perak and Kedah. The southern section comprises Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Singapore and Johor (who entered in 1923). In the early years, the Services (Army, Navy and Air Force) were very small units then combined with Singapore until 1927. In that year they entered as the Combined Services and immediately become a power in the southern section.

In the 1932 - 1933 seasons, Negeri Sembilan and Melaka who were finding it difficult in slum times to raise individual fifteens were granted permission to combine and have played as a single unit since. Forerunner of the Malayan Rugby Union was the abovementioned joint committee of the states which administered the Cup competition formed in 1921. When the Union came into being the committee continued to function side by side with it for a number of years, but eventually in 1935 the control of the HMS Malaya Cup competition passed into the hands of the Union. In the same year the United Services split up into two separate units - the Army forming one and the navy and Air Force combining to form the other.

Dr. H. W. Jack, Rev. R. D. Whitehorn of Selangor and Dr. E. D. Lindow of Singapore were the three men whose enthusiasm and desire to see the game make greater progress in this country. Dr. Jack, one of the finest players who ever appeared on a Malayan rugby ground and one of the selected few who achieved international honours at home (Ireland) was the first Honorary Secretary and Treasurer and fulfilled those duties for six years. Mr. J. M. Bell of Selangor was the first President.

The Union's guiding purpose always has been to control and encourage rugby in Malaysia and it has fulfilled that objective to good effect, if not spectacularly. The years that have passed since it was formed in 1927 have been marked by increasing popularity of the game throughout Malaysia and growing keenness among players.

Prior to the 2nd World War, the MRU was concerned mainly with European players for the appeal of soccer and hockey amongst young Asians steadily growing in sports consciousness was far greater for few players were selected for state teams.

The initial stimulus in popularising the game amongst Asians came from Negeri Sembilan where in 1925 the Negeri Sembilan All Blues were founded by Lt. Commander (Retired) Lander R. N., who became planter in 1922. The "All Blues Cup" presented by the Negeri Sembilan All Blues and subscribed to by supporters in the state was first competed for in 1934. The aims being to encourage inter state rugby among the Asians players. The competition was controlled by the All Blues RFC and was run similarly to the HMS Malaya Cup. Singapore and Perak shared the honours until 1939. Singapore wining four times and Perak twice but in 1940, Penang beat Singapore by 21 - 00 in Kuala Lumpur.

In 1941, there were 08t members of the Malayan Rugby Union that is clubs entitled to vote at general meetings of the Union and which had a voice in the control of its affairs and 19 affiliated clubs which entitled to representation. The member clubs comprised the State and Settlement organisations and the Services units and each was allowed to nominate a Vice President. The member clubs were:

§ Army Rugby Football Club, Singapore

§ Johor Rugby Football Club, Johor Bharu

§ Negeri Sembilan & Melaka Rugby Football Club, Seremban

§ Penang Sports Club, Penang

§ Perak Rugby Football Club, Ipoh, Perak

§ Royal Navy and Royal Air Force Rugby Football Club, Singapore

§ Selangor Club, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor

§ Singapore Cricket Club, Singapore

The affiliated clubs were in the main Asian clubs which under the constitution and rules of the Union had to become affiliated to the Union if they wished to arrange fixtures with clubs in membership as follows:

§ Anderson School Rugby XV, Ipoh, Perak

§ Eurasian Volunteer Rugby XV, Penang

§ FMS Police Rugby Football Club, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor

§ Klang Club, Klang, Selangor

§ Medical College Union Football Club, Singapore

§ Negeri Sembilan All Blues Rugby Football Club, Seremban

§ Old Edwardians Rugby Football Club, Taiping, Perak

§ Penang Chinese Recreation Club, Penang

§ Penang Free School, Penang

§ Perak Asiatic Rugby Football Club, Ipoh, Perak

§ Province Wellesley Rugby XV, Bukit Mertajam, Penang

§ Raffles College Union Rugby Football Club, Singapore

§ Selangor Chinese Recreation Club, Kuala Lumpur

§ Singapore Police Rugby Football Club, Singapore

§ Singapore Recreation Club, Singapore

§ Singapore Teachers Rugby XV, Singapore

§ St. Andrew Rugby XV, Singapore

§ Straits Chinese Recreation Club, Singapore

§ The High School, Bukit Mertajam, Penang

malaysia have a strong background of rugby and a great history too..rugby had been intoduced in malaysia since the pre-independence day..so i really feel that now is the time where rugby should be included as one of the core sports because in malaysia we have pools of great young talented rugby players..but too my dissappointment, MSN seems uninterested with rugby..and they still 'pulun' to focus on our football team which i feel is dead before we even start.. we are lacking of young talented footballers...i'm really sadden with the fact that rugby does not have full backup from the MSN..the only NGO who pulun to make our rugby local scene a grand occasion is the COBRA(combined old boys rugby association) ..i think without them,rugby will be dead for good..

i have stumbled upon people who have said that rugby is a game that have no future in it because of our size and by playing rugby we only' mengundang bahaya and sakit badan'..its untrue because for me every sports have its own risks..and every sports will make you 'sakit badan' at the end of the day..every sport..ok back to the size,size is not the excuse for us to neglect rugby,ok,look at sazali samad..our mr universe..look at his body..very muscular and big isn't it? believe me, his body is not that big the day he was born..haha..

my point is size can be build..send all the rugby players to the gym , give them supplement and a good diet which most of the rugby international team adhere to..if we want to make them BIGGER..inject some steroid la..Hahaha..alah, using steroid is not a big issue lah..most of great sportsmen use steroid to build up their muscle..but terkawallah...so this is where the dietician and nutritionist will come in handy..alah even in our local athletics scene,ada gak yg use steroid..for example my friend...the steroid was given to him by his coach for him to build up his muscle..of course after you take it you must work out 'gila-gila'..and don't forget to build up muscle you also need protein supplement..CREATINE..yeah..without this you only wasted your energy by going to the gym everyday..cause your muscle wont 'naek' one..i know lah...i da try...then after taking some protein supplement pills barulah berketul2..hehehe

ok look at the all blacks team..they also come from the same continent as malaysia rite? but why they have a great team comprised of BIG MAN..and look at fiji rugby..our closest..can i say..sibling..because their language is almost the same as our b.melayu..

so size is not the major issue for us to leave rugby from being the core sport..my opinion is drop football from the core sport and put rugby as it subtitute and look what rugby can offer..i have seen some great local rugby team before...JLJ kor diraja..very impressive..a team which comprised of locals and sekali pandang you all will think they are from the international side..because they are very BIG..seriously..alah..forget about our football team...sampai mampos pun xkan masuk world cup...unless kita jd tuan rumah..HAHA

here are some opinions from our local players on how to improve our rugby scene..

let's check it out..


We all love rugby. How to imrove our National Rugby performance at the international scene? Opinions fellow friends..


  1. rasanye..akan lebih byk improve kalo kita dpt wujudkan league macam liga malaysia..cane nk dptkan sponsors ngan more coverage..pastu assistance sports science perlu ditingkatkan, should be available to all..tak gitu..kbs kata nak tumpu sports subjektif yg kita bole menang..diorang tak bukak mata lagi tgk potential rugby..kalo jepun bole buat..kita pon bole..saiz sama je..perut sama boroi
  2. More LOCAL players in the team, give them exposure!! with proper management and coaching program. We can start from the club itself. Now is the trend to all clubs to have lots of import players. Sometime 80% from the 1st team..As the result no quality players at crucial position.
  3. rasa2nya kan, MRU ni dorang ada tak mcm Pelan Pembangunan Ragbi for 5 years ke, 10 years ke? meaning that, ada mcm specific target group (local la kan...takkan fijian kot) utk winning something. mcm budak2 ragbi kat SSBJ dgn Bdr Penawar.. aku rasa its a waste to have that such potential talent, tapi lps tu tak buat proper plan utk dorang serve for the country. wasting..
  4. yap betul tu,aku rase development mcm budak2 SSBJ dgn SSBP dah betul tu..but,at the same time kat lain pun kena buat jgk.kalau tak mmg budak SSBP la yg conquer..mmg ade plan tu,tapi takde usaha yg bersungguh dari pihak tertentu nak menjayakannya..lepas tu plan jadi sekerat jalan je la.. Lagi satu mcm pulut ckp,fund takde pun payah jgk..asyik berhutang jela jadinye..
  5. apa kata kita organize satu plan to collect fund for MRU. organized by this community. aku percaya sebenarnya banyak pihak yg boleh support. many of our leaders (politician+businessmen) have their roots of rugby since school or university. somebody need to make a move...otherwise, sampai bila2 pun MRU punya tabung 'kosong' and dont talk about developing the sports... maybe for the start, buat fund raising dinner... maybe... dapat collect 100k pun ok laa... or maybe each collection for participation fees for any tournament sanction by MRU, 20% from total collection need to give to MRU as 'sanction fees' ... at least ada jugak income...kan...i dont know.. : my 10 cents thought!
  6. -set up team 40 org. set target & build up size kaw2..
    -training every month( jumaat, sabtu & ahad)- maybe sabtu friendly dgn local team cobra, rsc, nsw etc. then once in 4 months tour to SEA country mcm spore, thailand, brunei, sri lanka (flight sponsor by air asia). selected players only..so yg kita tinggal akan push harder.
    -target in 2 years beat spore..in 5 years top 5 team in asia..then world cup.
    -elaun for starting rm500 tiap2 bulan. sorang mgr, sorang coach.
    its posibble kerana kita skill dah ada, cuma fizikal aje(itu bisa diatur inject steroid la). with proper plan xde problem. mru have to come out dgn proper plan, mintak sikit budget dari KBS. then bila dah success baru big company nak sponsor.walaupun kebanyakan ceo big2 company used to play rugby, susah nak sponsor coz sape nak put their company goodwill to a loser..for starting x payah la tido hotel mahal2, duk asrama jer. dah sukses baru boleh la.. baru best masuk MANGGA. hahahaha
  7. ye btol2..funding is really important eventhough its not everything...n kalau boleh MRU try to put a little bit of effort to make rugby proffessional in Malaysia. At least macam bola sepak lah...main bergaji..training hari2...n then, kene set up a strong management committee sbb ape2 pun kalau player bagus management hampeh pun xgune jugak..law management bagus, player boleh jadi bagus...thats just my oppinion...nak gak tengok Malaysia masuk World Cup. Bola memang xde harapan sampai mamposlah...hahaha...