‘A complete player’ is a rare find on the rugby field, especially when you’re not the biggest man on the park. But, some way or the other, this man, Rizah Mubarak, has been amongst the top performers for the Sri Lankan Tuskers for over a decade, slotting in the two and three pointers whilst also scoring a few remarkable tries.
A house-hold name in the Rugby fraternity, the former Isipathana College, CR & FC, Police SC and Sri Lanka Full-back, Rizah Mubarak, made quite an impactful statement earlier last week. He announced that the forthcoming Dialog Rugby League 2019/20 will be his final season before he hangs up his boot and embarks on a different journey with the oval ball. With the decision to step out of the game as a player, the nippy full back has also taken the call to return to CR & FC for his last season in Club Rugby.
Mubarak, who first represented Isipathana College in Football, was introduced to Rugby in 2005 after he was spotted kicking the ball very accurately. Next thing you know, Mubarak was a vital cog in the wheel that ran the Green Machine for the next two years that followed.
After representing the Junior Tuskers in his final year as a schoolboy rugby player, Rizah made his Inter-Club Division I debut wearing the Red Jersey. He managed to secure a permanent position in the CR &FC outfit, which allowed him to make Longdon Place home for the next four years.
Later in 2013 he played for Police SC and then Navy SC until he switched to Havelock SC in 2017. By this time, Mubarak was among the senior men who the juniors looked up to. He was a well-groomed and experienced campaigner who had represented Sri Lanka at numerous International tournaments.
One of his most unforgettable outings with the National Tuskers was in the Asia Five Nations back in 2012. The following year, he was adjudged as the “Most Valuable Player” of the Division 1 Asia Five Nations tournament and also won the award of being the “Most Promising Player” whilst stealing the spotlight as the top point scorer of the tournament. His great form continued in the ‘Serendib Cup’, another mega event that Sri Lanka took part in where Mubarak ended up as the top points scorer yet again.
He joined Havelock SC in 2017 and dominated the back line of the Park Club for 2 years, scoring tries, slotting in kicks and winning games for the men in pink. He was the top points scorer for the Havies last year as well and managed to win his first ever ‘Clifford Cup’ trophy after longing for it for over 7 years.
Rizah Mubarak has always been a consistent pick for the Sri Lanka Rugby selectors in both the shorter and longer formats of the game. However, with over 10 years of domestic, National and International rugby experience, Mubarak has decided that it’s time he rendered his services towards the sport by ‘paying-it-forward’ after the upcoming league.
Speaking to ThePapare.com, Rizah stated that as the current U18 Royal College Head Coach, he aims to build his way up in becoming a leading coach and produce many great players for Sri Lankan rugby circuit.
So, it’s back to where it all started for Rizah – just like in 2008, when he played for CR & FC under former Royalist and National Cap, Dushanth Lewke. Only this time, 11 years down the line, the duo meet again as player and coach at the same club, same grounds with the same spirit and love for the game.