“The International Rugby Board’s (IRB) Asian representative Gerrard Callan has requested all twenty-five countries in the Asian region to nominate two to three players. Once the nominations arrive, Callan will run a series of trials and pick the Asian Barbarians who will play Sri Lanka in October. The selection and training will be in Sri Lanka. As such we have asked coaches, trainers, players and also the under 20 squad to attend seminars such as ‘practical player training’ etc”, said Nimal Lewke President of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Association (SLRFU).
He added; “We have also submitted a proposal to ARFU (Asian Rugby Football Union). Japan is the headquarters for ARFU. What we have proposed is that our new headquarters be called the ‘centre for excellence’. ARFU is considering the proposal favourably and if it goes through it will be a big achievement for Sri Lanka. What will essentially happen is that Sri Lanka will become the main hub for Asian rugby. As such there will be a continuous stream of coaches and trainers coming down from overseas to conduct coaching clinics for players in the Asian region.”
Lewke said in conclusion; “We plan on having all the facilities such as fully quipped hostel, gymnasium and even an office for the regional director. With regard to the Kandy Singer Sevens even Korea has agreed to send a team. Only Japan will be missing. In addition ARFU is also considering having an Asian sevens tournament for schools from next year.”
Meanwhile referee Dilroy Fernando was scheduled to fly to Guam last night to officiate in a tournament and also conduct a programme for referees on the invitation of the rugby governing body of Guam.