The curtain-raiser of the 2023 Schools Rugby calendar – the All Island Under 18 Schools Rugby Sevens Competition – organized by the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA), the official governing body of the schools game in the country which is sanctioned by the Ministry of Education, will see the participation of all the elite Rugby-playing schools in the country opening their season in the Hill Capital over two days, on the 4th and 5th of March 2023.
Serving as the season opener of the Schools Rugby calendar for the year 2023, the competition will feature the top 32 ranked teams of School Rugby, and is expected to be a keenly-contested competition. With Under 18 players being the core of most of the 1st XV outfits of the schools, the Rugby faithful of the Schools Rugby teams will keep a close eye on the competition, which will provide an indication of the strength of the respective outfits, and some of the players that should be kept an eye out for.
Speaking to ThePapare.com, The Secretary of SLSRFA, Mr. Nirodha Wijerama explained the reason why they wanted to start off the Schools Rugby calendar with an Under 18 competition –
“Due to the pandemic and various other reasons, we were not able to hold the Under 16 competition for over two years. Those kids who were in the Under 16 age category are now in Under 18, which is why we wanted to start with this age group. Since restarting Rugby after the pandemic, SLSRFA has worked systematically to make sure all the age groups get opportunities to compete – the Under 14 all-island competition we held last year is a perfect example for that, and most of those kids are now in the under 16 age group,” he stated.
He also confirmed that there was great interest amongst the schools to participate in this competition. He went on to add the following – “We have had a great response from all the schools. The top 32 ranked schools according to last season have already confirmed, and in the unlikely event that one of the schools are not able to make it, we will open it for the next highest ranked school team.”
He also expressed his delight on being able to conduct this competition after a long lapse of three years, with the last edition having being conducted in 2019. ” The SLSRFA managed to successfully organize a series of sevens tournaments in December 2021 which covered five provinces, in an attempt to restart Schools Rugby in the country, and the Under 19 League and the Sevens Tournaments were massive successes in 2022 as well. We are very happy that we are able to bring the Under 18 Sevens Tournament back after 2019, which is a much looked-forward-to event in the Schools Rugby calendar,” he mentioned.
With the top 32 ranked teams confirming their participation, The SLSRFA has decided to hold the group stage games on the 1st day of the competition in two venues, with both Bogambara Stadium and Trinity College Rugby Stadium in Pallekele being used on the first day. The two grounds will see sixteen teams complete their group stage on day 01, with all action set to shift to Bogambara Stadium on Day 02.
Day 01 – Teams to compete at the Trinity College Rugby Stadium, Pallekele
Isipathana College, Trinity College, Wesley College, St. Anthony’s College, St. Peter’s College, D. S. Senanayake College, Sri Sumangala College, Kandy, Prince of Wales College, St. Aloysius’ College, Ananda College, Carey College, Nalanda College, C. W. W. Kannagara College, Sri Sumangala College, Panadura, Lalith Athulathmudali College
Day 01 – Teams to compete at the Bogambara Grounds
Royal College, St. Joseph’s College, Vidyartha College, S. Thomas’ College, Dharmaraja College, Kingswood College, Zahira College, Thurstan College, Lumbini College, Mahanama College, St. Sylvester’s College, Piliyandala MMV, Sri Rahula College, Devapathiraja College, Richmond College
Follow Sri Lanka’s #1 Sports Hub www.ThePapre.com to receive exclusive updates regarding the curtain raiser of the Schools Rugby calendar 2023.