The much-awaited season opener of the Dialog Schools Rugby League 2023 will kick off on the 14th of this month with the season’s, Division 1 Segment A contenders, St. Joseph’s College, Colombo, who will take on St.Anthony’s College at the Bogambara grounds in Kandy from 4.00 pm onwards, while the second match of the season will be played on 16th of June between Vidyartha College, Kandy, and Science College at the same venue.
In the first week, two crucial games will be played in Colombo on the 17th of June with former champions – Royal College and St. Peter’s College going head to head at St. Peter’s College Grounds in Bambalapitiya. On the same day, S. Thomas’ College will host Wesley College at the Big Club Grounds in Mount Lavinia. That game is played for the Sir Oliver E. Goonetilleke Shield.
Two more games will be played at the Bogambara Stadium in the opening week. Dharmaraja College will host Trinity College on the 17th of June, whilst Kingswood College will take on the defending champions Isipathana College on the 18th of June.
As the principal sponsor, Dialog Axiata has made arrangements to LIVE stream the matches via ThePapare.com, Dialog VIU mobile app and will also be shown LIVE on Dialog TV Channel 126 in the interest of all present boys, old boys, parents, supporters, well-wishers and the Rugby-loving public.
In the most exciting Division 1 Segment A of the Dialog School’s Rugby League 2023, two additional teams, Zahira College, Colombo, and D.S Senanayake College, Colombo, who got promoted from Division 1 Segment B from last season will join the 12 teams from last year to compete in 42 matches of the 2023 season.
The Dialog School’s Rugby Knockout Tournament will kick off eleven weeks later at an independent venue organized by the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA).
A further 24 more schools will compete under the categories of Division 1 Segment B and C, while another 29 schools will compete in Division 2 and Division 3 of the Dialog Schools Rugby League to secure the top position in their respective group.
There will be no demotion at the end of the 2023 season. However, two more teams will be promoted to the top division.
Last year, Isipathana College, Colombo put a fine display of their historical dominance of the sport to walk away as Champions of the Dialog Schools Rugby League and Dialog Schools Rugby Knockout Tournament.
Isipathana College, Colombo, St. Peter’s College, Colombo, St. Joseph’s College, Colombo, Royal College, Colombo, S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia, and Trinity College, Kandy are expected to be the top contenders for this season’s silverware.
“This year’s tourney will be the first full season played by the schools and since the COVID-19 pandemic and we expect a large audience at the matches by Sri Lanka’s rugby community in the upcoming 3 months,” Kamal Ariyasinghe, President, Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) said. “I would like to thank our principal sponsor Dialog Axiata for coming forth to support SLSRFA and Sri Lanka sports, especially in this challenging economic environment for corporates.”
‘School’s Rugby is one of the most followed tournaments in Sri Lanka and we are pleased that the SLSRFA is able to conduct a full season which will be a much-needed boost for the sport and the following,” Harsha Samaranayake, Vice President, Brand and Media, Group Marketing Dialog Axiata PLC said. “Supporting the future champions of Sri Lanka sports is very close to our hearts. I wish SLSRFA and all schoolboys the very best for the 2023 season.”
Dialog Axiata is the proud sponsor of the Sri Lanka National Cricket, Volleyball, Netball, and Esports teams. The Company also has a close association with the President’s Gold Cup Volleyball, National Junior and Senior Netball Tourneys, Schools Rugby, Sri Lanka Golf Open, and Paralympic sports by powering the Army Para Games, National Para Games and the Sri Lankan contingent to the World Paralympic Games.
Captains of the Segment A and B names are as below;
- Isipathana College – Naveen Kanishka
- St. Joseph’s College – Naveen Marasinghe
- Wesley College – Kaweesh Jayaman
- Thomas’ College – Viyaan De Silva
- Anthony’s College – Sahan Keerthisiri
- Kingswood College – Imanka Ishara
- DS Senanayake College – Jayathu Rajarathna
- Royal College – Randul Senanayake
- Trinity College – Attab Manzil
- Vidyartha College – Nanjana Wijesooriya
- Science College – Ashan Induwara
- Dharmaraja College – Poojana Rathnayake
- Peter’s College – Ashen Madugasge
- Zahira College – Aadil Rafeek
- Thurstan College – Davisha Perera
- Maliyadeva College – Minindu Diksura
- Lumbini College – Suvishka Iduranga
- Aloysius’ College – Ruvindu Keshan
- Ananda College – Mesanda Abeywickrama
- Central College Piliyandala – Ashen Indusara
- Sri Sumangala College Kandy – Sachintha Dilhara
- Prince of Wales’ College – Sahan Sathsara
- Mahanama College – Nadun Nimesha
- Benedict’s College – Asela Athukorala
- Sylvester’s College – Avishka Rajapaksa
- Carey College – Amila Nuwan