SLRFU officially protest over tour selector
The Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) headed by DIG Nimal Lewke
has officially written to the Secretary to the Ministry of Sports S.
Liyanagama, challenging the appointment of Chaminda Rupasinghe, as a
tour selector of the Sri Lanka national XV for the HSBC Asian Five
nations Division One Tournament in Chinese Taipei, due to conflict of
interests, as the raging domestic rugby controversy took another turn
The President of the SLRFU, DIG Nimal Lewke said that the Council has
taken a unanimous decision to officially protest the choice of former
Havelocks SC and S. Thomasí lock as a tour selector, and that they have
also challenged Rupasinghe being given sole authority to pick the final
15 for both Sri Lankaís ties during the said tournament, which is to be
conducted on a knock-out basis. DIG Lewke stated that in their letter to
secretary the sportís local controlling body, while challenging the
appointment of Chaminda Rupasinghe, have put forward two conditions to
the Sports Ministry to be met if the SLRFU is to acknowledge the
presence of the ex-Havies second-rower, as a tour selector.
The SLRFU President noted that if Rupasinghe is to accompany the team
as a tour selector, then he will have to resign from his post as the
Vice President of Havelocks SC and that besides the tour selector, the
national teams two South African coaches (Dawie Snyman and Norman Laker)
and manager Colonel Sunil Ranasinghe should also be involved in the
final selection of the starting XV. Meanwhile, in another alarming
development among players at practices it is reliably learnt that the 12
Kandy SC players of whom nine have been chosen for the 24-member Sri
Lanka tour squad have vehemently protested the retention of CR & FC
number eight Dushanth Lewke as skipper for the first game to the new
Chairman of rugby selection panel, Rohan Abeykoon, yesterday.
The Kandy SC players it is reliably understood had told the selection
panel Chief in no uncertain terms that their original grouse was against
Dushanth Lewke being appointed captain, and that him being retained even
for one game was not to their liking and that if he is not removed
forthwith from the captaincy that they will quit from the tour squad
In the meantime, Minister of Sports and Public Recreation, Gamini
Lokuge, when contacted stressed that he has not yet ratified the final
24-member Sri Lanka squad with two captains to Chinese Taipei. He
revealed that the Secretary Ministry of Sports, has been advised to have
a discussion with the SLRFU to sort out the issue of the captains.
Minister Lokuge, added that in the effort to please both Colombo and
Kandy SC based players, he saw nothing wrong in the appointment of two
separate captains, though it has created a new precedent in the annals
of Sri Lanka rugby.
The Minister said that a tour selector has been chosen to defuse any
dissention among players on tour and that with the tour selector being
given the power to chose the final XV for both matches, it could lessen
the disunity currently prevalent among players at practices.
Minister Lokuge said that he would grant his approval to the Sri
Lanka rugby squad with two captains after a discussion with his Ministry
Sri Lanka is to compete in the first-ever HSBC Asian Five Nations
Division alongside, China, Singapore and host nation Chinese Taipei from
The Sri lanka teamís date of departure to Chinese Taipei is still not
confirmed, according to a source at the SLRFU.