Rugby gets off the ground after 18 months | Sunday Observer

Rugby gets off the ground after 18 months

24 October, 2021

Harsha Samaranayake (right) Senior General Manager – Brand and Media, Group Marketing, Dialog presents the Warrior Trophy Rugby Sevens sponsorship to Senior DIG Ranmal Kodituwakku, Chairman, Steering Committee of the championship. Also in the photograph are from left: Group Captain Subash Jayathileka-Member Steering Committee, Rear Admiral Sajith Gamage-Member Steering Committee and Lt. Col. Samantha Samarasinghe-Army Rugby Committee

Thanks to the untiring efforts of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Police, rugby in Sri Lanka is back on track after 18 months in the form of an Invitation championship called the Warrior Sevens to kick-off on October 30 and 31 at Police Park in Colombo.

Besides the four Service teams, Havelocks and CH and FC will also be in the fray that will be minus Kandy Sports Club and CR and FC.

While the teams in the running have overcome all obstacles and prepared within a short span of time, Kandy SC opted to stay away citing limited time to prepare their players while claiming their funding has also been put on hold.

The Red Shirts, CR and FC, according to an organizing committee official had what they called a “genuine reason” not to field a team.

Dialog is the main sponsor of the championship that will also serve as criteria to pick players into the national pool for upcoming international tournaments including the Asian Sevens.

There will not be any spectator patronage of the matches that will be broadcast live on Supreme TV (Dialog television channel number 20) and live streamed on ThePapare.comand Dialog VIU mobile app.

The tourney will be refereed by members of the Sri Lanka Society of Rugby Football Referees.

“Sports is an integral part of Sri Lankan lives and I’m pleased for the initiative taken by the Steering Committee of the Warrior Trophy Rugby Sevens to restart rugby and the support given by the National team and club rugby sponsor Dialog to meet the challenges of organising a tourney of this magnitude in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa.

Harsha Samaranayake, Senior General Manager – Brand and Media, Dialog paid a tribute to the organizers.

“Rugby is one of the most followed sports in Sri Lanka and the fans are looking forward to see their clubs back in action. Dialog is pleased to see the progressive steps taken by the Steering Committee of the Warrior Trophy Rugby Sevens to organise a tournament of this magnitude,” said Samaranayake.