Trinity the cradle of schools rugby | Daily News

Trinity the cradle of schools rugby

Trinity College, Kandy has been known as the cradle of Sri Lanka schools rugby for well over a century, This school has produced many outstanding ruggerites and champion sides, and also top class coaches, referees and administrators; they have a rich and proud history in rugby. They took up the game in 1906 and are the second school to play the game and are the only school to continue playing rugby without a break. A Shield was first introduced for inter house matches in 1920, and is still being played for. They teach the students the game from a young age.

Rugby is today, particularly at Trinity College is one of the most popular sports,whatever the secret of its rugger has always been the most popular game since it was introduced and their first game was against Kingswood College which was the first school which took up the game and this game ended in a six all draw in 1906.

Today their main game is against Royal College. Trinity College first played against Royal College in 1920 and since 1945 this match has been played for the Bradby Shield – the richest prize in school rugby. After 1920’s Royal game the next school they played was against Zahira College in 1924 and in 1933 against St. Peters College. These were the only four schools that played rugger in those days. Later their other fixtures were against S. Thomas College first in 1955, St. Josephs College first in 1955, Wesley College first in 1957. and St.Anthony’s College first in 1962.

The Bradby Shield was introduced in the year 1945 when Royal Principal Edward Lawrence Bradby donated the shield, at that time the game of rugby was on the decline with the World War, and the sporting principal of Royal College E.L.Bradby put forward the idea of playing an annual two match series, to which the principal of Trinity College C.E. Simithraratchy, readily agreed.. The series has been played annually and uninterrupted, till last year when the game was not played due to the Covid19 pandemic. The Bradby shield game is the eagerly awaited by rugby fans and is witnessed by the biggest crowd at a school rugby match. It was played even in 1971 despite the April insurrection where only one game was played at Longden Place which Royal led by Fred Pereira won 22-3 and also in 1989 despite the uncertain situation in the country the First Leg was played before a sparse crowd at Bogambara on August 5 1989 which Royal won 9-6 and the return game was worked off nine days later on August 14 Monday at Sugathadasa Stadium in which Royal edged out Trinity 9-8 the first occasion the Bradby Shield was played on a week day.

This game of Bradby is more than a game, it’s a day gathering for both the young and the old to share their stories and meet up with their old team mates and friendsThis Bradby Shield was designed and made by Kandyan silversmiths it is a wooden disk decorated with intricate traditional Kandyan silver works.

The Bradby Shield encounter is an event marked in gold in any Trinitians calendar.Many players have come out of this school in this game of rugby, where they earned a name and gave their best, if one goes to mention the names of the great players there will be no end. Some of the national captains produced by this great school during the last five decades were Sari de Sylva Eric Roles Nimal Maralande Mike de Alwis Yu Cey Chang Irwin Howie Lanil Tennekoon Tikiri Marambe Haris Omar Sean Wijesinghe and Pradeep Basnayake.

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