Marikar lashes out at schools’ rugby authorities

Inthi Marikar

Sri Lanka rugby’s high performance director, Inthi Marikar is disappointed with the Sri Lanka Schools’ Rugby Association (SLSRFA) for their negligence in the preparation for the upcoming Asia U19 tournament which is known as the Junior Asiad. queried Marikar on his successful stint so far as the high performance director of Sri Lanka Rugby and the preparation to the Asia U19 tournament. Marikar was livid and stated that “it is absolutely disgusting, Schools’ Union and their secretary never responded to my emails or the phone calls nor the SLRFU’s emails. We can’t just train a week or two and just go for the biggest challenge in the junior level in Asia”

“The tournament will be held in Malaysia from December 11th – 17th and the time has come to start training” says Marikar. Although he is not the coach and does not have any intention of becoming the coach of this side, he insists that it is his duty as the high performance director of the governing body Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLSRFU) to provide the necessary preparation.

Marikar said that he had a chat with the secretary of the SLSRFA two months ago and discussed many things but he has not kept to his word..

Asia Rugby U19 in December

Marikar did tour with the Sri Lanka U20 and U18 sevens teams in the recently concluded tours where Sri Lanka made history by winning titles for the very 1st time. His influence was apparent and his expertise undoubtedly benefitted the youngsters.

He further said that “SLSRFA delaying and not responding shows their unprofessionalism and this will be a headache for the national selectors in time to come. Even before the age-level sevens tournament, SLSRFA handed-over 70 names to select the final 12 in two days. This was a joke.” tried several times to contact the secretary of the SLSRFA but was unable to get through. However, ThePapare spoke to another member of the SLSRFA who stated that things did proceed smoothly in the last 3 to 5 years and that he is also unhappy that the secretary is not acting on this and showing no interest.

Marikar further stated, “we need more time in preparation if we want to go to the next step, also most of the players will be having a long break since the season was over in July, so there is a lot of home work to be done, the confidence level has been built among the juniors who played the sevens and we should be number one in the junior level in Asia with the amount of rugby our boys play, if the system is failure everything becomes a failure.”

“In the last two years, the Sri Lanka U19s lost to Hong Kong and as a result finished second. Thus knowing this we need to have a different strategy to beat Hong Kong, and if we can will all three games the boys will get a chance to play in Uruguay next year in the Junior World Rugby Trophy (JWRT) which is also called the World Rugby U20 Qualifier’s”

Sri Lanka last played in the JWRT way back in 2001 under Jivan Goonatilleke’s captaincy.

Marikar went on to say that he had called Mr Sunil Jayaweera – advisor on sports to the Education Minister, to complain on how badly this was handled.