Published: 30 November 2012
The committee of the SLRFU had met yesterday to discuss about some of the crucial decisions for the coming years and ThePapare.com spoke to Mr. Rizly Illyaz about the future plans for Sri Lankan rugby and potential opportunities.
TP: What is Ben Gollings' role after the sevens series. Will he be contracted again?
SLRFU: Yes, he will be remaining as the national coach for the next year. However we want him to focus more on the three quarters and be the back line coach while we are considering an additional forwards coach. We have a couple of probable candidates, one Samoan and another coach who has been coaching in South Africa.
As we have seen with Gollings, a good coach with international repute will be a big motivation for the boys as well.
TP: What about the choice of Captain going forward for the 15s & sevens tournaments?
SLRFU: We don't want to name a captain at the start of the year. This has been a bad precedent, since by doing so the person appointed may be over confident of his place in the team. As we did for the sevens tournament last year, we will appoint the captain depending on his skill, fitness and availability closer to the tournament.
TP: What is the plan for the SL sevens side for next year's Olympic qualifier?
SLRFU: We will definitely be trying to qualify with the women's team and that is the main focus as of now since it will be very competitive with the men's team. However, due to the location of the qualifiers we might have a chance if there is low participation from the Asian teams.
TP: Majority of the Asian sides have foreign players representing their national side. Why isn't Sri Lanka adopting the same?
SLRFU: This is definitely an option that we are considering. At the Dialog Rugby Awards, the Sports Minster verbally approved of this concept. However, due to the regulations stating that a player must have 36 months residency in the country they represent, we will only reap the benefits of this in three or more years if it is implemented immediately.
TP: The lack of physique has been a main concern over the years. what steps has the SLRFU taken to improve this?
SLRFU: If we take a look at the history Sri Lankan players have had the physique to some extent. What is important is the proper financial backing and planning to implement a good nutrition plan that will be sustainable. Hopefully with the sponsors coming in we will be able to achieve this in the future.
TP: What are the other plans for SL rugby in the future?
SLRFU: Something that is very current and was discussed in the meeting yesterday was about the possibility of hosting the Asian 5Nations tournament in Sri Lanka next year. This will be a good opportunity for us.
The SLRFU and its current committee has a good understanding on what needs to be done and within the past two years we have achieved progress. Everyone is very broad minded and is focused on developing Sri Lankan rugby.
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