Sri Lanka picks 30 man squad for Asia 7s

Isipathana the former skipper and national captain Omalka Gunarathane says they are short for time to prepare for a big tournament.

Sri Lanka Rugby will finally end their long wait as they now begin to restart their rugby program after the pandemic.

Its been over a year since Sri Lanka has played any local tournament weather it be in school leagues, local tournaments or national team level.  The Super Round of the Dialog Rugby League was cancelled right after Kandy SC was crowned champions for 2019-2020 season. While it abruptly ended the school year season, ending kids rugby.

The Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union was about to kick off the Dialog Rugby League season for 2020-2021 before the second wave of the pandemic forced it to cancel and erased any chances of it kicking off.

However, after Asia Rugby announced that they will push through with the Asia Rugby 7s season, SLRFU is now under pressure as they are now left un prepared for the season. They have yet to have nay sort of coaching camps or matches for the players to get them ready for the Asia 7s.

SLRFU are now in a hurry to organize a coaching camp for the pool of 30 players in the coming weeks. The coaches have submitted a 30 man list of players that will be approved by the National Sports Council and the Sports ministry.

Jude Dmitri, Secretary of SLRFU, said to The Morning Sports on Friday “Our main goal for now is to prepare for the Asia 7’s which will most probably commence in August. The selected pool of players is yet to be approved and we are hoping to get the approval within the coming weeks.”

‘We should’ve played a few matches’

Omalka Gunarathane, former Isipathana Skipper and national cap, exclusively told The Morning Sports said, “We players have not yet been informed about any preparation for the Asia 7’s. I don’t think the dates are finalized yet for the tournament. Even if we begin training tomorrow, it is not enough to prepare for a big tournament like that.

“Let’s say the tournament is in December, it’s still not enough to plan and get back to rhythm. We haven’t trained together or played together in more than 18 months. Ideally they should have at least played a few matches earlier.”

Only a little over a month is left before the Asia Rugby 7s first leg kicks off in South Korea, it’s a race with time for these Sri Lankan athletes as they get ready for rugby 7s.