SLR's Sev­ens coach and trainer sent home

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - SPORTS - By Naushad Amit

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka

© PressReader. All rights reserved.