- Kia Motors (Lanka), Brandix and Anchor in joint sponsorship to reward team for phenomenal performance in 2017 season
Fresh off a triumphant season culminating in them being crowned league champions in U-20 schools rugby, the high-riding First XV team of Royal College is to test their skills in New Zealand, backed by the support of team sponsors Kia Motors (Lanka), Brandix and tour sponsor Anchor.
Announcing a 10-day tour commencing on 8 September, during which the team will play two games against schools in Auckland and Northland, team officials said the 36-member contingent will also participate in camps conducted by New Zealand coaches and attend sessions with strength and conditioning experts.
Facilitated by the fraternity of Old Royalists domiciled in New Zealand, the tour is a reward for an exceptional season which saw the team retain the coveted Bradby Shield by beating archrivals Trinity College and win the league championship.
In New Zealand, the team will play their first schools game on 11 September against Rangitoto College at Rangitoto Grounds, North Shore. The second schools game against Kings College is scheduled to be played on 14 September in Otahuhu.
The team will also have sessions with former All Blacks Head Coach Sir Graham Henry as well as former All Black greats Sir John Kirwan and Joe Stanley as part of the itinerary in New Zealand.
Addressing media on behalf of Kia Motors, Royal Rugby’s principal team sponsor for the past six years, the company’s Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer Andrew Perera said: “We have watched with great interest how the rugby development program at Royal College has evolved and impacted positively on the performances of teams in all age groups. This year’s First XV team exceeded expectations and we are happy to support this initiative to give the boys some valuable exposure in a rugby-loving country like New Zealand.”
Representing Brandix, the team sponsor of Royal Rugby, Rajiv Malalasekera, a former Captain of the Royal Rugby First XV and CEO of Brandix Apparel Solutions – Lingerie, said: “As a reputed corporate entity that is driven by the mantra to inspire people and teams in achieving their aspirations and to excel at the highest level with humility and respect, Brandix is delighted with the passion, inspired commitment and flair displayed by the Royal College rugby team in the concluded season. This tour of New Zealand should contribute significantly to developing the players’ and coaches’ skills for future success.”
The Chairman of the Royal College Rugby Advisory and Management Committee Rohantha Pieris expressed the school’s heartfelt gratitude and appreciation of the unwavering support Royal Rugby has received from all the corporate sponsors.
“We are grateful to Dr. Muralitharan, Royal College Basketball Captain of 1980, for organising this tour and hosting the team in New Zealand as well as all the Old Boys, well-wishers, Arinma Holdings, Classic Travels, Hameedias, Ravi Subramanian and Mr. Krishan George, who came forward to make this tour a reality,” he said.
“The support of the corporate sponsors and all the other stakeholder groups who helped the Royal College Rugby Advisory and Management Committee to facilitate this tour will undoubtedly provide vital impetus for the future of Sri Lankan rugby through such rare exposure and experience these budding Royal rugby players will receive during the tour of New Zealand.”