Former English rugby star Ben Gollings made a sensational return to the Sri Lanka rugby circuit on Monday (25) when he was appointed as Rugby Director to oversee both men’s and women’s sides in the shorter format with the Asia Rugby 7’s Series around the corner.
Gollings was among a few other candidates such as former Fiji legend Setefano Cakau considered for the above-mentioned position, but after discussions spanning months SLR President Rizly Illyas was able to make the official announcement on Monday (25) at a press conference held at the Ramada Hotel.
“We all know what a great coach he is and with his experience, me and my committee at the SLR believe that he would bring something new to both our teams as we take part in the Asia Rugby Seven Series. I was in touch with Ben for the last three months and he has already done some using the technology,” Illyas told the press.
Having first coached Sri Lanka nearly a decade ago, Gollings is confident about making an impact in the upcoming tournament, at which he will function as a coach.
“Although it is for a short term, my belief is that we can have an impact and we can go as prepared as we possibly could to this tournament which is a huge tournament in Asia. From my perspective, my focus is completely on players and management. Hopefully, by the time we finish in four or five weeks, I will have achieved my role as the coach,” Gollings stated.
Despite his appointment, the former English rugby sensation will have to work with a group of rugby players who have had no rugby for nearly two years.
“I think it is very clear that many challenges are ahead, but as sports personalities you won’t forget how to play the game, so our responsibility is to try and boost their confidence and to give them a platform from which they could express themselves and accelerate,” Gollings said on Thursday.