Lanka to host IRB Asian qualifying 7’s in 2004
By Shamseer Jaleel
The Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (S L R F U) has been successful
in obtaining the right to host the Asian Qualifying round of the
International Rugby Boards Sevens series in order to select 4 teams
for the Rugby Sevens World Cup which will be hosted by the Hong
Kong Rugby Football Union in the year 2005. In addition to the Rugby
World Cup Sevens The HKRFU will also host the Rugby Asiad next year
with 12 teams taking part.
At the next
SLRFU Council meeting led by Mohan Balasuriya and supported by former
Sri Lankan number 8 Nalin De Silva and his men will decide the date
and venue of which the tournament will take place. It is likely
that the Tournament will be hosted by SLRFU in first half of next
year. This will be the biggest International rugby event hosted
by the country after hosting the Rugby Asiad in 1990.
The other IRB
organized tournament which took place last year was the World Cup
2003 Asian Qualifying match between Sri Lanka and the Chinese rugby
team which the home nation won 9-7 at Longden Place.
From this qualifiers
Japan and Korea got selected for the final round and Japan got into
the final 20. Korea had to play against the Pacific Islanders Tonga
on a home and away basis where the Tongan's thrased the Asian team
by a huge score to qualify for the on going Rugby World.
countries will take part in the IRB Asian Qualifiers sevens in 2004.Japan,
South Korea, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Kazakhstan, India,
Chinese Taipei, Arabian Gulf, Guam and Sri Lanka. Meanwhile Sri
Lankan sevens team will have a busy schedule in the next two months
having 3 sevens tours.
First the side
will take part at the Kings Cup in Thailand from 28-29 of November,
then travel for the IRB sevens series match at Dubai and from there
they will take wing to South Africa where the last tournament of
the year will be held and Sri Lanka will be grouped along with the
host nation's South Africa.