The Sri Lanka national men’s sevens rugby team, who played under the name of “Lanka Lions” won the Cup championship beating Bagneux, a French club side by 50 points to nil competing in the Boys open category for clubs at the Paris World Games played on July 7 and 8.
The team that got approval from Sports Minister Faiszer Mustapha as the national Sri Lanka side represented the tournament as Lanka Lions.
In the Cup semifinals Lanka Lions beat Ocean’s Seven Rouge (a club team from France) 28-7.
In the final Lanka Lions thrashed the French club team Bagneux 50-0.
The Daily News spoke to some of the rugby stalwarts regarding the victory achieved by Lanka Lions and this is what they had to say:
Ex-S.Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia rugby captain and under 18 coach, CR & FC rugby captain, Sri Lanka national player and team manager, SLRFU council member and CR & FC president Christopher Jordash said: “First and foremost we need to emphasize on the sevens circuit and games, tournaments that we should compete to get exposure before the Asian Games. Since Sri Lanka has not been invited to some key tournaments because of their low rankings, it seems difficult to take part in the sevens circuit or get invited. The last event was the Commonwealth Games where we came 15th out of 16 teams.
“If Sri Lanka is concentrating on the Sevens circuit, they need more competing tournaments or we will not get the desired results in the Asian Games. Why Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) went ahead with a low quality tour like this and wasted funds not gaining proper exposure by not competing with any national sides but a Boys open club tournament in the Paris World Cup is no achievement.
“This is serious mistake on the part of the officials who went ahead with such a tournament. The rugby fraternity will needs to know the truth behind this Lanka Lions tour.”
Former Sri Lanka double international (Rugby and Basketball), Police SC rugby captain and former Western Province Rugby Football Union president (WPRFU), ex DIG Hafeez Marso said: “By taking part in this kind of lower grade club Paris World Games rugby 7’s rugby tournament like the Boys Open, we have dropped our quality of rugby immensely. It will have a negative impact on the upcoming Asian Games in Jakarta. When getting close to a really competitive rugby tournament like in the Asian Games we must compete with high quality opponents for us to be more competitive.”