rugby kick-off on May 27
By Shamseer Jaleel
Two leading sports promoting commercial institutions Caltex and
Singer once again scrummed down with Sri Lanka Rugby Union (SLRFU)
when they extended their sponsorship for both schools and the club
sections respectively. Not only "Caltex" who are sponsoring
the much looked forward league signed for yet another 5 years but
also Singer Sri Lanka continued support towards the national sevens
and fifteens outfits. In addition to this Singer will also sponsor
28 schools in "A" division. All these details were announced
at the pre-season rugby press briefing, which took place at the
Galadari Hotel yesterday.
Asitha Abeygunasekera, Marketing Director of Singer and Chief Executive
Officer of "Caltex" Kishu Gomez said that they were happy
with the progress of the SLRFU. Sri Lanka improved on their rankings
from 64th to 46th in World Rugby.
of the SLRFU, Priyantha Ekanayake said that they will be televising
20 matches (clubs and schools) in total and launching of the official
SLRFU magazine Lanka Rugby News, also took place yesterday. This
will be published on a monthly basis. Further he said that the national
players were contracted from February this year, like the cricketers
in the country and were paid in the region from Rs 5000 to 15000/-
a month in three tiers according to their performances.
players who are in the top tier are Anura Dharmatilake (CR &
FC), Dilanka Wijesekera (CH & FC) and Sanjeewa Jayasinghe (Kandy
SC). He stressed the importance of the youngsters being given the
required exposure and all "A" division clubs will be fielding
an under 23 side and that game will take place before the big game.
He ended by saying that they are negotiating with the Sports Minister
in order to get an own ground for the SLRFU.
General of the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) Jamie Scott speaking
to The Sunday Times said that the final round matches of the Rugby
World Cup 2007 will be held at the 2006 Asiad, which will be hosted
in Colombo during November. He further said that every rugby playing
nation on the globe is being given an equal opportunity in the qualifying
round stages. Asian nations will be pushing for two slots in the
2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. He ended by saying if Sri Lanka
head this group of China and Hong Kong then they will be playing
in the group "A" at the next Asiad which is very good
for rugby in the country.
2006 "A" division will kick off when the CR & FC host
the Army SC on 27 May at Longden Place. On the same day defending
champions Kandy SC will travel down to Colombo to face the Sailors
at Welisara. There will be 6 teams in the top division and after
the initial round it will be reduced to four. The schools season
will kick off soon after the Advanced Level exam in late June.