Kiwi Mika set to return as national rugby coach

Malaysia Rugby (MR) are keen to retain coach Brad Mika for the national team’s assignments next year.

The main assignment next year is the Asia Rugby Championship (ARC) top-tier competition.

MR honorary secretary Amrul Hazarin Hamidon disclosed that Malaysia’s position in the top tier remains safe despite having finished last among the three teams in the top flight last year (2018) and this year (2019), as Japan have stated they are not interested in rejoining the competition in 2020.

Japan, who reached the World Cup quarterfinals on home soil in October, won the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup, which featured Fiji, Tonga Samoa, Canada and the United States, earlier this year.

Japan have also secured qualification for the 2023 World Cup after finishing in the top-three bracket in their pool in this year’s edition.

“Our president Datuk Shahrul Zaman Yahya met Japan (officials) recently and they stated that they are not interested in rejoining the competition, so we will continue to play in the ARC top tier,” said Amrul.

“The MR exco is keen on retaining Kiwi Mika as head coach next season. He only had a short time to prepare the team this year (2019) and it is only fair we give him more time to develop the squad with a more comprehensive programme for next season.

“It is, however, up to him to decide and we will have to get his feedback on this.”

Mika took over from Lee Nyuk Fah, who helmed the national squad from 2014-2018. Nyuk Fah had brought the squad up from Division Two in 2014 to the top tier in 2018. Mika is currently on the books at Borneo Eagles as their director of coaching.

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