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SLRFU Council to decide on Rugby Asiad

RUGBY: The Council of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union which meets today will take a decision on whether to go ahead with the Colombo Rugby Asiad as scheduled or to postpone it according to the Chief Executive Officer of the SLRFU Dilroy Fernando.

"The International Rugby Board requested the SLRFU to send a report on the security arrangements for the Singer, Rugby Asiad which is scheduled to be worked off in Colombo from November 17 to 25 this year and we have already done so," said Fernando.

"Maximum security will be provided to the teams at the Galadari Hotel where they will be billeted and also at the three match venues. The Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs have also extended their support to make the event a success," he said.

The SLRFU have been preparing for the Asiad for the last one year and obtained sponsorships from several leading firms in a bid to make this the best ever Rugby Asiad and it will be a big disappointment if the event is postponed, said Fernando.

The third ranked team in Asia Hong Kong and Singapore have expressed reservations about taking part in the Colombo Rugby Asiad citing security reasons and the IRB had requested the SLRFU for a postponement of the tournament.

Hong Kong along with Asian heavyweights Japan and South Korea will battle it out in the Cup championship of the Asiad which will also be a qualifier for the Rugby World Cup finals in France next year.

Meanwhile seven new players have been included in the national pool which is undergoing training in preparation for the Rugby Asiad under new coach Tavita Tulagaese.

The 34-member Sri Lanka rugby pool:

Prop forwards - Shamil Mohamed (CR and FC), Danushka Boteju (CR and FC), Nilan Ekanayake (CH and FC), Jayantha Ranaweera (CH and FC), Kishore Jehan (Kandy SC).

Hookers - Viraj Prasantha (CR and FC), Anuranga Walpola (CR and FC), Mohamed Irshard (Old Zahirians), Anju Buksh (Kandy SC), Anuja Perera (CR and FC).

Second rowers - Anuradha Dharmatilleke (CR and FC), Senaka Bandara (Kandy SC), Lahiru Boteju (Havelocks).

Flankers - Danushka Perera (Kandy SC), Sean Wijesinghe (Kandy SC), Dilanka Wijesekera (CH and FC), Dilip Selvam (Kandy SC), Ashen Karthelis (CR and FC).

Number eight - Dushan Lewke (Kandy SC), Imran Bisthamin (Kandy SC).

Scrum halves - Amjad Buksh (CR and FC), Zulki Hamid (CR and FC).

Fly halves - Fazil Marija (Kandy SC), Asanga Rodrigo (CR and FC).

Centres - Sajith Mallikarachchi (captain, Kandy SC), Chamara Vithanage (Kandy SC), Mohamed Sheriff (CR and FC).

Wingers - Sanjeeva Jayasinghe (Kandy SC), Matheesha Silva (CH and FC), Suranga Arunashantha (Air Force), Lalindra Rodrigo (Havelocks).

Full backs - Nalaka Weerakkody (Kandy SC), T. A. Silva (Army), Saliya Kumara (CH and FC).

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