New President of Sri Lankan Rugby Mr Rizly Illyas

Lasitha Guneratne, incumbent President, Sri Lanka Rugby (on left) wishes his successor Rizly Illyas, Vice President, SLR, who will be unanimously elected as President at their AGM next month,

We would like to congratulate Mr. Rizly Illyas on his appointment as the new president of Sri Lankan Rugby.

New SLR Chief Rizly out to help Sri Lanka recapture its past glory in rugby

“I am very happy and delighted to inform that Rizly Illyas will be my successor uncontested and he has submitted his nomination on Monday. I believe that fighting for positions should not be the practice not only in rugby but in any sporting body.” Said Lasitha Guneratne at a Press briefing held in Colombo to clarify the misunderstandings regarding the run up to the Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) Annual General Elections to be held at the end of August.

Lasitha Guneratne the incumbent President of SLR briefed the media about the wide spread rumours and various fabricated stories on the AGM, Speculating that he will be contesting to hold office for another term which he was entitled for. Originally the AGM was scheduled for May 20 this year and he was requested by his affiliates to continue his second term in last March. Soon after the lockdown due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, he was not in contact with other committee members but had only zoom meetings with the governing body regarding the World Rugby Chairman’s elections. During this period his vice President, Rizly Illyas had ideas of contesting for the top chair.

Nevertheless due to miscommunication with the outcome of the pandemic, Lasitha was informed by Illyas that he is keen on contesting. On principle he decided to refrain from contesting and gave the green light to his colleague to proceed with his plans.

Illyas with an immense experience in the field of rugby expressed his views. He said he was rather upset initially over Lasitha’s stance and later realized that it was a total miscommunication. Moreover he has spoken to him over the phone and thrashed out matters while apologizing to each other.

“I am happy to say that the misunderstanding have been thrashed out with Lasitha. I have gained a lot of experience working with him in the last two years. I have a mammoth task ahead of me mainly in securing sponsors and funds. With this pandemic situation we have time to plan out matters in the next few months soon after resuming duties. By and large we have some strategic plans to bring back the past glory of the game.” Said Illyas.

Rizly outlined his future plans while making adjustments to the tournament formats. He also revealed that to implement everything the Finance factor plays a key role, which has become a challenging task at this juncture. He was pretty confident that these challenges could be overcome with the execution of a proper plan. He also elaborated about forming a professional sevens squad which needs several million rupees. Sri Lanka has a better chance of ending up within the top three in Asian region since Japan has entered the top tier in15 a-side rugby.

Friend to you and Phuket Rugby

Mr Illyas has been a close friend to Phuket Rugby and over the years has promoted championship rugby clubs from Sri Lanka’s Kandy SC & CH & FC Gymkhana club to tour Phuket and play games since the then Lankan Champions Kandy Sports Club RFC first toured to Phuket in 1995.

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