Namal Rajapaksa keen on school rugby revival

Sports Ministry & Asia Rugby plan Club 7’s tourney

30 March 2021 10:10 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Harsha Amarasinghe

Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa is keen to see the resumption of schools rugby in the near future while discussions have already been held with Asia Rugby over the possibility of conducting an Asian Club 7’s tournament.

A letter dated March 30, 2021, is being circulated on social media with the signature of Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) General Secretary Niroda Wijerama requesting permission from the Sports Minister to organize rugby tournaments in July/August subject to Advanced Level examination. 

When contacted by ‘Daily Mirror’, Rajapaksa said that school rugby has to return very soon.

“I haven’t actually received such a letter thus far, but I really want school rugby to start. Obviously, the schools should follow the health guidelines and get the practices started as soon as possible. I have no objections with this,” the former Sri Lanka rugby captain told ‘Daily Mirror’.

Although the Sports Minister managed to respond to ‘Daily Mirror’ within minutes, the SLSRFA General Secretary failed to make an effort to respond amid ‘Daily Mirror’s’ numerous attempts to get in touch with him. 

In one of the previous interviews with ‘Daily Mirror’, Rajapaksa highlighted the importance of sports administrators keeping their ‘egos’ and arrogance aside. Most certainly, the SLSRFA can certainly take a leaf out of Rajapaksa’s book.

Meanwhile, Rajapaksa also revealed that plans have been put in place to organize an Asia Club 7’s tournament in Sri Lanka with the participation of best teams in Asia.

“We are in discussions over the possibility of having an Asia Club 7’s tournament in Sri Lanka. The Sports Ministry hopes to organize this in collaboration with Asia Rugby (AR). It’s difficult to confirm the dates just yet because we have to look at whether teams have commenced training in other rugby playing countries in Asia. I am aware that Korea has started training, but we need to discuss further and set dates for this tournament which in my opinion would be a massive opportunity for our players,” concluded former Sri Lanka forward.

Meanwhile, Asia Rugby President Qais Abdulla Al Dhalai is taking great interest in working alongside the Sports Minister in organizing ‘various promising projects’.

“Glad to exchange various promising projects with Namal Rajapaksa. Asia Rugby looks forward to working closely with your honorable alongside Sri Lanka Rugby’s Rizly Illyas and Asanga Seneviratne to deliver a new of its kind tournament shortly,” Al Dhalai posted on social media. 

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