Sri Lanka Seven’s rugby team may not be able to take part in the Asia Rugby Seven Series set to be kicked off in November, if they fail to submit their final squad before the end of this month, Daily Mirror reliably learns.
It is quite evident that the Sports Ministry and Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) have not been able to work in collaboration in recent years which is why there has been no competitive rugby in Sri Lanka since March 2019 except for a couple of friendly matches played between Air Force Sports Club and CH & FC.
Daily Mirror understands that the Asians powerhouse Japan along with the second strongest side Hong Kong are likely to miss the Asia Rugby Sevens Series this year which provides Sri Lanka an opportunity to make history by becoming overall champions for the first time.
However, Sri Lanka’s chances have already been hampered by the poor administration who has failed to prepare the national rugby players for the tournament and it could only get worse if they are unable to send the team to Asia Rugby 7’s.
According to an official from SLR, they have had a few meetings with the High Performance Committee over the finalizing the squad which have all been fruitless.
SLC have submitted a squad of 30 members, but they have been told to bring it down to 15 and the SLR source is livid with the lack of knowledge from the members of High Performance Committee on rugby.
“I respect them, but tell me how are we supposed to play rugby with a preliminary squad of 15? This is not swimming or carom, with all due respect; this is the most physical game in the country, so injuries are always going to happen, that’s a part of sport which is why we have requested for a 30-man squad, but to be told to bring it down to 15 shows the rugby knowledge of these so called experts,” the source told Daily Mirror.
In order to select a new squad, SLR have been told to organize a tournament on their own which does not seem to be a possibility given the current scenario. However, it is understood that selecting a new squad may pave the room for certain individuals who have not been in the frame for the last few years.
However, these personal agendas from both Sri Lanka Rugby and the Ministry of Sports could only ruin whatever the chances Sri Lanka have to make history by winning an Asian title in 7’s rugby. Hence, it’s high time they work collaboratively for the betterment of rugby in Sri Lanka.