Buoyed by a welcome win over the Arabian Gulf on Sunday, Hong Kong were treated to a further bit of good news when fullback Matt Reede confirmed that he would be party to the SAR's campaign at the 17th Asian Championship in Aomori, Japan, which begins on Saturday. Doubts had lingered all along over the availability of the fleet-footed Reede, who had been uncertain due to work commitments. But Hong Kong coach Phil Campbell confirmed yesterday that his last line of defence and his first line of attack would definitely be going to Japan. 'We are happy to have him along. A couple of senior players have pulled out at the last minute and it has meant redefining our whole plan. But as far as Matt is concerned he is definitely a starter,' said Campbell. 'The build-up has been difficult but we have reached the final stage and we have got four more days to complete our preparations,' he added. Almost half of Hong Kong's sevens squad were unavailable for selection. This played a huge part in defeats against Western Australia and China. But Hong Kong bounced back with a 21-20 win over the Gulf - Reede's first game in the build-up. While things are looking a bit brighter for Hong Kong, the Asian Championship suffered a blow with the news that Malaysia have pulled out of the biennial tournament. Malaysia are the second team to pull out, following India's withdrawal last month. The Malaysian Rugby Union has informed organisers that a number of injuries to key players had resulted in their pulling out of Asia's premier 15-a-side event. But it is understood that financial constraints had also played a part in the Malaysian decision. Individual unions have to pay for their own airfares and also fork out US$35 per day per player towards accommodation and food costs. 'We just don't have the money to go. The economy is still down and there are no sponsors backing rugby presently. We needed at least 100,000 Malaysian Ringitt [$210,000] to go to Japan but the money is hard to come by,' said a source close to the MRU. 'It is very sad and disappointing that Malaysia can't come . . . and this just five days before the tournament begins. Apparently a number of their best players are injured,' said Jamie Scott, secretary-general of the Asian Rugby Football Union. Scott also revealed that he had been informed last week and had spent the weekend 'trying to see if there was anyway of helping them to compete'. Malaysia's withdrawal won't affect Hong Kong as they were in the bottom half of the draw alongside Singapore, Sri Lanka, China and Thailand. Hong Kong are drawn with defending champions Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.