SLR's Sevens coach and trainer sent home
Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) has decided not to renew the contracts of National Sevens Coach Peter Woods and Trainer Nicholas Groube. Woods and Groube were recruited by SLR on two-year contracts, which ended last month. SLR will not renew the contracts as Sri Lanka does not have any international or regional sevens assignments until August 2019.
"With the Dialog Rugby League Championship kicking off this week, players will be engaged with fifteens Rugby for almost 16 weeks. Afterwards Sri Lanka's first international outing will be in the fifteens format, the Asian Division I Championship. With no activities in sevens it's more practical focus on the domestic and other activities as players too will not be released by their respective clubs while the League is on. With all that we decided not to extend the contracts of the two contracts," said SLR President Lasitha Gunaratne stated.
New Zealander Woods replaced Englishman Matthew Turner in October 2016 as Sri Lanka Sevens coach and was recruited on a two-year contract by SLR, prior to the Asian Games. Sri Lanka, however dished out exceptionally at the Asian Games but missed the bronze medal by a whisker against South Korea.
Woods was instrumental in trying out new talent and many potential youngsters made their international Sevens debut while Sri Lanka gradually slid down in Asian Sevens rankings. In 2016 Sri Lanka was placed fourth but the Tuskers have not been consistent despite winning on and off.
However under Woods Sri Lanka contested against world strongholds at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, earning spotlight internationally. In the recently ended Asian Sevens Series Sri Lanka finished third, fifth and sixth in the three legs respectively, dropping down unexpectedly in regional rankings.
Groube was tasked as Trainer for both Sri Lanka sevens and 15s sides. Local rugby experts have identified the Sevens format as Sri Lanka's only hope of reaching the international stage after cricket. But the country has failed to maintain a squad with a long term plan.
Peter Woods, over and out