The Asia Rugby Championship Top 3 begins this weekend with Malaysia set to host Korea in the first of six crucial matches to determine the 2018 champion.
Being played at the 87,5000 capacity Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur which was built for the 1998 Commonwealth Games, Malaysia will then face Hong Kong at home the week after.
The tournament then heads to Korea for their two home matches before heading to Hong Kong for the final two matches.
Ranked 22nd, 31st and 45th respectively, Hong Kong, Korea and Malaysia come into the tournament with one eye on reaching Rugby World Cup 2019.
Japan have already qualified for the tournament having finished in the top three of their pool at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England and Asia could have two representatives at the first-ever Rugby World Cup in the region.
The winner of the Top 3 will go on to face the Cook Islands in a home and away play-off with the winner joining Canada in the for-team global repechage tournament that will provide the 20th and final qualifier for RWC 2019 in November.
It will be just the eighth time Malaysia will have faced Korea on an international level and they will be looking for their first win. Their last meeting cme in 1996 when Korea won 112-5.
Malaysia join Hong Kong and Korea in the race for RWC 2019 having won last year’s ARC Division I with a 22-9 victory over Sri Lanka. They have also played Hong Kong seven times before and their last meeting saw them suffer a 103-5 defeat, also in 1996.
For the favourites Hong Kong they have faced Korea 23 in the past, winning both of their matches in ARC 2017 39-3 and 43-17.
Korea’s last win against Hong Kong came in 2015 when they won 33-26 in Hong Kong.’
All matches will be streamed on the Asia Rugby Facebook page.
Stadium National Bukit Jalil Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
|Malaysia (Red) v South Korea (Blue)
|Malaysia (Red) v Hong Kong (Blue)