Red shirts opt out of series

Commanders Cup Rugby Sevens 2021

Friday, 12 February 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • CR joins Kandy in pulling out of tournament 
  • Organisers exploring possibility of either development outfit or combined schools team as replacements

By Shamseer Jaleel

The Ceylonese Rugby Football Club (CR&FC) men’s and women’s teams will not feature in the two rounds of the Commander’s Cup Rugby Sevens 2021 which will take place during March in Ratmalana. 

CR&FC President and former 1982 Royal skipper Ted Muttiah told Daily FT: “The requirement for players to be in group isolation for a continuous period of 35 days put in jeopardy their full-time day jobs. “In the current economic climate imposed by the pandemic, the CR Rugby Board determined it is unfair to expect our men’s and women’s players to put at risk their livelihood, many of whom are sole bread winners in their families. The club’s duty of care to our players extends beyond the playing field.

“We commend Sri Lanka Rugby’s enthusiasm and commitment working in collaboration with the Ministry of Sport and Ministry of Health to bring local rugby back to the spectators. We wish the tournament committee a successful series.”

CR becomes the second team to pull out from the Commanders Cup. Defending champions Kandy Sports Club had previously pulled out of citing financial issues, as a result of no rugby being played for the last year, no gate collections, and a lack of funds from sponsors.

The organiser of the event, Sri Lanka Air Force, is likely to decide the remaining two spots in the near future, exploring the possibility for either a development outfit or a combined schools team.