The Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA), in their attempt to popularise the game in the outstations will conduct a series of junior ‘sevens’ tournaments for Boys’ and Girls’ during the 2022 Inter-Schools rugby season. In fact, the focus will be more on sevens rugby this season as Sri Lanka will look to make an impact in this format of the game during the upcoming international tournaments.
Asia Rugby have already lined-up a couple of Under-18 and Under-20 sevens tournaments in their 2022 calendar for both Boys and Girls in November and December with Sri Lanka hoping to participate in a big way. “We believe there is a huge void to be filled in finding talented rugby players from the rural areas and this has clearly affected Sri Lanka’s performances in sevens rugby at international level,” a senior official of the SLSRFA told the Daily News.
“We believe with a minimum physical contact on the field Sri Lanka could really make an impact in this format and our plans are to identify a few outstanding players who would go the distance and represent the country at the highest level,” he stressed.
“If you look at some of the other sports in the country, we see a lot of rural athletes have left a lasting impression at Asian Games and World Championships and we need to follow the same in rugby in order to fill this gap,” he added.
The SLSRFA have already successfully completed the Boys’ Under-14 Division Three Development Sevens Tournament for the Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Uva and Wayamba provinces. In addition, the Boys’ Under-14 Division One 10-A-Side Tournament, Boys’ Under-12 Provincial Seven-A-Side Tournament, Boys’ Under-14 Division Two 10-A-Side Tournament and the Girls’ Under-14 Seven-A-Side Tournament were also completed successfully.
Meanwhile, the SLSRFA’s search for talented sevens rugby players will continue with the Boys’ Under-16 Division One 10-A-Side Tournament scheduled for next month. This will be followed by the Under-16 Division Two 10-A-Side Tournament on August 27 and 28. The Boys’ Under-19 Division One and Division Two Seven-A-Side Tournaments will be worked off in September while the Boys’ Under-18 Division One and Division Two Tournaments will be held in October.
The SLSRFA have also lined up five tournaments this season for the Girls in the Under-12, 14, 16, 18 and 19 categories. In fact, the Under-14 Seven-A-Side Tournament was successfully completed in May and the next two events for the Girls will be in September with the
Under-19 Seven-A-Side and the Under-16 Seven-A-Side Tournaments. Meanwhile, the Under-18 Girls’ Seven-A-Side Tournament and the Under-12 Girls’ Seven-A-Side Tournament is scheduled for October.