New rugby chief Illyas to cut down on domestic matches for international Sevens | Sunday Observer

New rugby chief Illyas to cut down on domestic matches for international Sevens

5 July, 2020
Rizly Illyas
Rizly Illyas

Rizly Illyas, the president in waiting to head the next rugby administration in Sri Lanka has proposed to cut down on the second round of the domestic League matches, emphasize more on the Sevens game for international recognition and push for youth rugby to be second only to Japan in the Asian region.

Illyas has spelt out the proposals and plans for the future of the sport in his election Manifesto as he seeks to be elected uncontested next month for the top post of president of Sri Lanka Rugby for 2020/2021.

He will replace outgoing president Lasitha Gunaratne.

Illyas also plans to establish a Rugby Foundation to obtain what he calls its “expertise and services to uplift rugby, generate funds and ensue good governance.”

“The Rugby Foundation shall have a board of Directors comprising of the President, Deputy President and Chief Executive Officer of SLR, a representative from the Auditor General’s Department, a Representative of the Ministry of Sports, three Life members and three other reputed persons from the rugby fraternity or corporate sector nominated by the Council,” Illyas has stated in his manifesto.

“Under my leadership I would ensure that SLR would work closely and cordially with Provincial Unions, Clubs, Schools and all stake holders for the betterment of rugby in Sri Lanka,” Illyas has further stated.

Sri Lanka has not had much to crow about as far as match results are concerned on the international scene with the team dropping in the rankings.

According to his Manifesto Illyas is targeting the Sevens team to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris and a medal in the 2022 Asian Games.

He has stated that shortening the domestic inter club fifteen-a-side League tournament will create a window for a series of Sevens tournaments in order to pick a Sri Lanka Sevens squad under a professional set-up.

With schools rugby able to generate an annual Rs-70 million sponsorship from Dialog, Illyas contends in his manifesto that more emphasis will be given to youth rugby with regard to international exposure.