Sri Lanka to host Rugby Asiad in November this year
RUGBY: The Rugby Asiad which was scheduled to be held in November
last year and postponed indefinitely will be held in Colombo from
November 3 to 10, 2007 said the president of the Sri Lanka Rugby
Football Union DIG Nimal Lewke at a press briefing held at Trans Asia
Hotel yesterday regarding the 2007 rugby season.
Lewke also said that the President’s Trophy Rugby Tournament will be
revived this year and will be conducted under floodlights at CR and FC
grounds, Longdon Place from August 24 to September 1.
The eight top clubs, schools and the universities will take part in
the tournament with two matches being played for a day. The tournament
was last played in 1998 when CR beat Kandy SC by 30-26 in the final
Caltex Lubricants have come forward to sponsor the tournament.
Lewke also paid a glowing tribute to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for
donating Rs. 50 million for development of rugby in Sri Lanka.
“When I brought to the notice of the president the inability of
service teams to play their home matches at Galle Face, Ratmalana and
Welisara due to security reasons he took immediate steps to provide the
Shalika grounds, Race Course and either Nomads or Pedris Park for the
Army, Air Force and Navy to play their home matches.
Lewke said that he was keen that rugby be played at the Race Course
grounds as it was a famous venue for rugby till the 1960’s where even
Clifford Cup finals had been played, Rugby will be developed in Uva,
Galle, Kelani Valley and Kandy which would help to unearth talented
ruggerites from those areas who will go onto represent Sri Lanka.
He hoped to get a professional coach and a trainer from abroad for
the national team. Financial assistance will be provided for the less
affluent clubs which would help them to meet their expenses.
Sri Lanka will also take part in the Asian Nations Rugby Tournament.
The Sri Lankans will confront Kazakhstan in Kazakhstan on April 26 and
Arabian Gulf in Dubai on May 10. He also lauded Caltex Lubricants for
coming forward to sponsor this year’s Caltex League, Clifford cup
knock-out, Inter-Provincial Tournament, under 23 Tournament and the
‘President’s Trophy Tournament.
The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Caltex
Lubricants Kishu Gomes said,” Today we mark Seven years into the
sponsorship of club rugby in Sri lanka. As the sponsors of the
inter-club league and knock out tournaments, Caltex is indeed proud of
the progress of the game in Sri Lanka over the years.
“Sponsorship for us has indeed been rewarding. Over the last seven
years we have seen the game of rugby grow and develop adding value to
both the sport and in turn to the organisation by complementing our
brand personality of Power, Energy and speed”.
In 2000, Caltex began its partnership with the Sri Lanka Rugby
Football Union (SLRFU) in support of the two tournaments. “When we took
over the sponsorship in 2000, our management had a dream. It was to
popularise the game and make it grow both as a spectator sport and
increase team participation”
With the Sri Lanka Rugby world ranking improving from 68th place to
43rd place and Asian ranking improving to fifth place, today the game
sees an immense growth. said Gomes in conclusion