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Rugby Asiad postponed for next year

RUGBY: The Council of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union which met at the Union headquarters yesterday decided to postpone the Singer Rugby Asiad for next year.

"The Rugby Asiad will be held in January or February next year depending on the availability of the teams," said Dilroy Fernando, Executive Director of the SLRFU yesterday.

"The SLRFU will inform the International Rugby Board and Asian Rugby Football Union of its decision and the new dates will be finalised, once the member countries confirm their participation," he said.

The Council of the SLRFU decided to put off the tournament on the recommendations of the IRB after considering a report submitted by a London-based firm Rushman International Security Consultants who assessed the security situation of the country at the request of the IRB.

The International Rugby Board on Friday decided to shift the venue of the Rugby World Cup qualifying tournament featuring Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong from Colombo to another city in Asia after Asia's third ranked team Hong Kong expressed reservations about taking part in the Colombo Asiad citing security reasons.

Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong were to vie for honours in the Cup Championship while host nation Sri Lanka along with Arabian Gulf, Chinese Taipei, China, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and India were to battle it out for the Plate Championship of the Singer Rugby Asiad which was scheduled to be worked off in Colombo from November 17 to 25 this year.

The council of the SLRFU also decided yesterday to appoint Sanath Martis as the coach of the Sri Lanka under-19 team which will take part in the Asian Youth Rugby Championship in Chinese Taipei in mid-December this year. Under Martis' guidance the Peterites clinched the rugby double this year - the schools 'A' division league championship and President's trophy knock-out tournament. Antonian coach - former Sri Lanka flanker Viper Gunaratne (jnr) will be the assistant coach.

 

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