Players from national rugby
Under-20 team going through
tough training regimen.
Picture: BT/Syarif Rasani
The national rugby Under-20 team will be taking part in the upcoming ARFU (Asian Rugby Football Union) Asia Junior 7's Under-20 Tournament this weekend.
National rugby coach Ben Bourne only managed to start training the team on August 27 due to recent tournaments with the seniors and the month of Ramadhan.
"It was hard because I had to get the seniors ready for HSBC Asian 5 Nations and the Sabah Governor's Cup," Bourne told The Brunei Times.
"It was also a struggle to (convince the players to train) because they also had exams going on.
"Basically all we need to do now is get their match fitness ready because they all know how to play the game," said Bourne.
The team has had a few changes from their initial lineup.
Three players had to turn down the chance to play due to school commitments, but have been replaced.
Muhammad Azizan Hj Zainal Ariffin and Mohd Aliuddin Awang Timbang have been appointed as the team captains for the Under-20 squad. "Training was good and we have been progressing since March," said Azizan.
"Everyone has shown their commitment to the team and have been coming to training.
"Our team bonding is also a lot better than it was before," he added.
The Under-20 team have been placed into Group B with three other teams for the nine team tournament.
Along with Brunei are Hong Kong, China and Uzbekistan.
Group A comprises Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, Singapore, Indonesia and Laos.
Brunei will have their first match against Hong Kong at 9.40am on Saturday.
Following that, they will take on China at 12.20pm and finish off their last match of the day against Uzbekistan at 2.40pm at the Dataran Bandaraya in Johor Bahru.
The tournament was originally scheduled to take place on June 20-21 but was unfortunately disrupted by haze.
The organiser's pushed back the dates because they thought it would be the best option for the players health and safety.