Moose Clothing partners with SLR
By Asanka Gammanpila
Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) announced yesterday their newest sponsorship partner, Moose Clothing Company, ahead of the Asia Sevens Championship to be held in Dubai next month. After a hiatus of over 20 months, SLR is set to pick their national 7s pool after the Warriors Cup tournament scheduled for this weekend, and the pool will train with former England sevens specialist Ben Gollings, who officially announced his recruitment with SLR yesterday as Director rugby 7s. Moose Clothing readily extended its fullest support to SLR by availing itself of the sponsorship of the SL National Rugby 7’s team.
This partnership with SLR is a timely decision which will undoubtedly support the celebration of this sport at a time when countries are slowly emerging out of lockdowns and restrictions amidst economic hardship. Hasib Omar, Executive Director, Moose Clothing Company addressing the media, said their company is a massive fan of sports, and they would like to see Sri Lanka sports develop to international standard.
“Personally, I have been a massive cricket fan and in the recent past we were trying to support cricket. When President Illyas came with this opportunity, we thought why not, we’ll support rugby to go to the next level,” said Hasib Omar. SLR President Rizly Illyas praised Moose Clothing for coming forward to support Sri Lanka Rugby in these difficult times after a layoff of over 20 months of zero rugby. “We hope this partnership will be long lasting,” said Illyas.
Ben to overlook SL 7s teams
Ahead of more challenges to be faced within a short period of time ahead of the Asia Sevens, and players back on the field after two years, former sevens specialist Ben Gollings said, “In the short term I believe we can make an impact and will make preparations the best possible way for this tournament, which is the big tournament in Asia now,” said Gollings. He further said, “My main focus is fully on the team, players and management, and my role here is to coach.
Hopefully, when we finish up within five to six weeks-time, I would have achieved my role in terms of making progress by making it a better place than before we started, and have a support mechanism for players and coaches.” “I was excited and really enjoyed the time I had in Sri Lanka a few years ago, but got an opportunity to come back and be a part of that.” Answering a question raised by the Media regarding not having experienced players for selection, Gollings said he has no intention of being involved in selections.
“Selection is up to the Selection Committee; my job is to coach the selected players.” Ben previously coached Sri Lanka in 2012 and 2013. SLR president Illyas said Gollings is taking over for a short period of one month, and believed having confidence in the knowledge Ben possesses, the team can perform better within a short period in Dubai.
Asia Rugby President visits SL
Excellency Qais Abdullah Al Dhalai, President of Asia Rugby, was here in Sri Lanka for two days and expressed his view on Sri Lanka rugby. He said “Rugby is the second popular sport in Sri Lanka, you can’t deny the fact. Rugby needs to start. No matter what happens there are lots of challengers in the country, like in many other countries as well because of COVID-19, but I am sure with the wisdom of SLR President and his Committee, Sri Lanka rugby is moving on the right track.”
He also said Asia Rugby invested 40,000 US dollars to support SLR during COVID-19 to run the administration during the difficult period. “Sri Lanka rugby has performed well in XV a side and 7s previously, and once they even played in the World 7s Series. I hope Sri Lanka will be on track again,'' said the AR President.