Abdeen says Ellis is a good choice

By Shamseer Jaleel

The Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) appointed New Zealander Ellis Meacham as the head coach of the country before the much important Asian 5 Nations Rugby encounters which will be kicked off in April this year. He will be contracted for four month’s and then on performance his stay will be renewed.

Sri Lanka will play Arabian Gulf (April 23) and Hong Kong (May 7) and then fly to Kazakhstan (May 14) and Japan (May 21) With only 2 month’s left before the coach arrives in the country biggest question in rugby circles is the time enough for the young lads of the country to get in to good shape.

Ilyas elected president
The Western Province Rugby Football Union held its Annual General meeting on the 21st Of January 2011 at the Havelock Sports Club.

Long standing Western Province activist and Present Deputy President Rizvi Illyas was appointed President while former President of the Referees Society Dilroy Fernando was elected Secretary.

Ilyas has been active in rugby and was a past council member and a former Rugby Secretary of the CH and FC.

Nazim Mohammed was elected Deputy President. The Vice Presidents elected were Roshan Deen and Hafeel Marso with Thusitha Peiris appointed as the Treasurer. Shamrath Fernando was appointed Assistant Treasurer while Dinuk Wijeratne was appointed the Assistant Secretary.

Sunday Times got the views of a few past players in Sri Lanka Rugby.Former Sri Lanka rugby player and the only successful sevens captain (Winning Hong Kong Sevens Bowl in 1984) Hisham Abdeen spoke about the coach and gave lot of credit to the governing body saying “it’s a good choice. Ellis got lot of very good past records looking after sides such as Romania, Samoa, Wellington. Also players such as Jonah Lomu, Tana Umanga and Neemia Tialata was under his watchful eyes at one stage.

isham further said that the pool of 63 players should be in a training camp until the tournament is over. The side should be brought down to 30 at least by end February if not we will be late for the bus. The final touring squad should have at least one month preparation together before the first game.”Hisham ended by saying “we have a very good chance of winning at home against Hong Kong and Arabian Gulf. Our away games will be tough ones against Kazakhstan and Japan. The boys should be sent to cooler climate in order to prepare for these encounters. Specially in Kazakhstan we will be playing below 5 degrees. Ideal would be either in Nowata Elisa or Radella”.

Former Police Sports Club skipper Hafeel Marso said “the New Zealand coach had got his paddy green. He had coached Samoa and Romania world cup teams. This means he is in to business. My only worry is that do we have enough time? How long will he take to settle? The assistants to him should look in to the fitness level of the players and have a proper record for the coach to start immediately”. He ended by saying “we have a good chance of being in the top three in Asia if our players put aside their club politics and give priority for the country and the National jersey”.

South African born Kandy Sports Club Coach Johan Taylor speaking to the Sunday Times from South Africa said that the Lankan team already should have been at practices. Sri Lanka has a good chance of winning at home.

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