|Sri Lanka creates rugby history as ...
SLRFU hosts debut Rugby World Cup match
Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) will create history in the annals of local rugby football when Sri Lanka host China in the Rugby World Cup 2003 Qualifying match which is scheduled to be played at Longden Place on April 7 (Sunday).
This rugby Test match will mark the first ever occasion where a Rugby World Cup match would be played in the green swards of Longden Place.
The President of the SLRFU Commodore Harsha Mayadunna speaking at a media briefing held in view of the Rugby World Cup qualifying round match with China at the Colombo Hilton last evening thanked BCC Lanka Limited for coming forward to sponsor the rugby Test.
He said though Sri Lanka had played rugby football for over hundred years it was the first time the country had been able to secure a Rugby World Cup fixture to be hosted here.
Mayadunne stated that the sports International governing body the International Rugby Board (IRB) had ensured that every country that plays the game in a major way will be given at least one chance to host a World Cup match.
The SLRFU President said that he managed to persuade the Chairman of BCC Lanka Limited Milinda Goonawardene to come forward with a ready sponsorship package in view of the Rugby Test with China.
The local rugby chief noted that Gunawardene himself being a keen lover of rugby had promptly agreed to sponsor the match and urged him to be involved with the SLRFU in a big way so that his company could get more mileage and enhance the marketability for their products.
The Rugby World Cup 2003 which will be the fifth edition of the competition will see 90 countries vying for honours and the tourney will culminate in Australia with 20 finalists challenging for the prestigious William Webb Ellis Trophy.
The final is also scheduled to be held in Australia. (JK)
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