Aruna reaches great heights in rugby refereeing

The IRB, in April, announced the appointment of new referees to its midyear appointments. Joining the panel and refereeing in the Nations Cup Second Tier competition is Sri Lankan born Aruna Ranaweera. The IRB Nations Cup is an annual tournament held in Europe for Tier 2 rugby nations and Tier-1 nation ‘A’ sides. This year’s tournament consists of Scotland A, Argentina Jaguars, Italy A, Romania, Georgia, and Namibia.

Aruna standing besides two other American referees.

Ranaweera represented Trinity College 1st KV rugby team in 1992 and 1993 and was a member of the team that won the Premadasa knock out tournament. He was an all round student who also excelled in Athletics and Basketball. He was a senior prefect of Trinity in 1993 was awarded the Ryde Gold Medal the same year. An excellent student he obtained four A’s at the advanced level examination. He completed his BSc at Princeton University (USA) and obtained a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

He was a Member of the Southern California Rugby Referees Society during the period 2003-2005. He is a Member of the Northern California Rugby Referees Society since 2006 and was selected to the USA National Panel of Rugby Referees in 2009-2010. His International appointments include - Referee: IRB Nations Cup: Romania v Namibia - Bucharest, Romania – 2010. - Referee: iRB Nations Cup: Scotland A v Argentina Jaguars - Bucharest, Romania - 2010 - Referee: IRB Talent Identification Programme - Stellenbosch, South Africa - 2009 - Referee: NAWIRA U19 Final (Jamaica v Guyana) . His Rugby playing career was at Trinity College (1987-1993), Princeton University (1994-1998), and Santa Barbara Grunions (2000).

It is possible that Aruna is the first of Sri Lankan decent to have risen in rugby football refereeing to this high level.

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