Rugby treat at Asian U-19 C'ship in Yio Chu Kang

The Singapore Under-19 rugby team after beating Thailand 22-5 in a play-off final in Manila on Dec 13, 2014.
The Singapore Under-19 rugby team after beating Thailand 22-5 in a play-off final in Manila on Dec 13, 2014. PHOTO: SINGAPORE RUGBY UNION

Singapore will host the Asian Rugby Under-19 Championship for the first time from Dec 12 to 20 at the Yio Chu Kang Stadium.

The winners of the annual four-team tournament will represent Asia at the second-tier World Rugby U-20 Trophy in Zimbabwe next April.

Singapore's U-19 outfit, who clinched the Asian division two title last year, will battle for a spot with favourites Hong Kong as well as Sri Lanka and Chinese Taipei.

"The boys are training hard every week. This is a great opportunity for them to test their skills against the best youth rugby players in Asia.

"We are aiming to put up a strong display for our friends and family," national U-19 coach Hadizan Jaaman said.

The annual Causeway Challenge between the U-23 teams of Singapore and Malaysia will also be played on the final day of the youth tournament.

Singapore will look to avenge a 15-11 defeat last year when the competition was held in Malaysia.

Singapore Rugby Union president Low Teo Ping said: "Even though Singapore is working on the World Rugby Sevens Series (to be held at the National Stadium in April), we cannot forget about our local, regional and youth tournaments.

"We need to grow rugby from youth to national level in Singapore and in the region as well."

The 31 members of Singapore's U-19 outfit were chosen yesterday after five months of selection trials.

All are graduates of the Standard Chartered National Rugby Academy.

The team stepped up preparations with recent victories over Republic Polytechnic (5-0) and Ngee Ann Polytechnic (60-0).

A training camp has been scheduled for next weekend to allow the players to get accustomed to the tournament conditions.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2015, with the headline 'Rugby treat at Asian U-19 C'ship in Yio Chu Kang'. Print Edition | Subscribe