- HSBC Coaching
- The Trophy
- A7s Series
Singapore will be keen to re-establish themselves back in Division One from which they were demoted last year. Defeats to Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Chinese-Taipei led to relegation leaving Singapore at its lowest ebb in the history of the competition.
Having tasted life at the top – Singapore was in the Top Five in 2009 – they will be favourites to finish top of this group with their toughest opponents likely to be regional rivals Malaysia who they are seeded to meet in the final. The biggest hurdle could be the home crowd at the Petaling Jaya Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
Hosts of the Division Two and Three tournaments once again, Malaysia are being groomed by the Asian Rugby Football Union to host more events in the future. They will want to pay back the faith of the organisers by proving they can hold their own out on the pitch too.
Will be a dangerous side playing at home and will be determined to put the record right if they meet Singapore in the final – they have to first defeat Iran – having lost narrowly to their cross-border rivals the last time the sides met in 2010. The border rivalry will ensure it will be an entertaining clash.
One of the fastest-improving sides in Asia, Iran will be hoping to spring a surprise in Kuala Lumpur to underline their status as an emerging power. Big and physical, Iran will be a handful for the hosts and the carrot of playing in the final with promotion in 2014 to Division One will give them even more incentive.
Progress has been remarkable over the past five years. In 2008, Iran was playing at regional level but was promoted to Division Three in 2009. They went one step better and won promotion in 2011 by defeating Pakistan and have held on to their position in this division since then.
Romped to a 52-3 victory over China last year in the relegation play-off and will be keen to avoid being in this same position again making them a huge threat.
Lost the opportunity to enter Division One – and be in with a chance to be involved in the Rugby World Cup qualifying rounds - last year when they went down to Thailand in the play-off between the winners of the Division Two and Division Three in Bangkok.
Having won Division Three, India, however, guaranteed themselves a place in Division Two this year where their minimum goal will be to retain this position. Will have their task cut out against top seeds Singapore.