Rugby coaches puzzled over appointment
Ronnie Ibrahim and Viraj Prashantha the two former rugby players and
coaches expressed their disapproval over the action taken by the Sri
Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) in appointing the coach for the
forthcoming five nations rugby tournament at a press briefing held at
Automobile Association auditorium on Wednesday.
They said that the SLFRU informed them via email last December
stating they were selected as national coaches for the five nations
tourney. We were extremely amazed to see an article on a web site this
morning which said that both of us had been expelled from the coaching
It was further revealed that the SLFRU had offered the job and later
cancelled it without showing any reasons or informing us. They
emphasized that SLFRU could have negotiated rather than taking one sided
decisions which is unacceptable under any circumstances. Ronnie and
Viraj recalled how they stood for rugby over the past years and the
pains they had to under go to build up a reputation in the field of
We are not here out of the blues. We have dedicated our entire life
for rugby in Sri Lanka. Most of the players in the five nations pool are
We two know every nook and corner of their skills and shortcomings.
We have been with them for years, so it is easy for us to train them
rather than a foreigner who was introduced just a couple of weeks ago,
The duo reiterated that they have no objection of taking the service
of a foreign coach but argued that the local coaches possess the same
skills. It is obvious that we have our own value, our junior team were
in seventh place from 2003 to 2006 which played under a foreign coach
but secured the third place from 2007 to 2010 with local coaches.
We even beat Korea in 2009 for the first time in Sri Lankan rugby
history. So on what grounds the Rugby Union underestimate us they
The two also noted that they didn't ask for more money but hoped a
better recognition for their skills. Ronnie and Viraj suggested on
working out a proper procedure to appoint national coaches.
They also told that they have no grudges with the selected coach but
puzzled over his short-term service.
We are confident that our team could do well and wish them all the
best they said.