The Japan National Rugby Team and Japanese officials stayed at Cinnamon Lakeside whilst in Colombo for the 2011 Asian Five Nations Rugby tournament finals. Amongst the well known rugby stars was coach John Kirwan, New Zealand rugby union footballer, and former All Black. With 35 tries in 63 tests for the All Blacks, Kirwin appears on the list of the highest try scorers in Rugby Union history.
He became Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2007 for services to mental health awareness and was appointed the coach of the Japan national rugby union team in 2007. Here from left: Neroy Marso, General Manager, Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo; John James Kirwan, Head Coach Japanese team; Osami OTA, General Manager, Japan Rugby Football Union; Takenori JR Omura, Team Manager; Naslin Jayawardana, Sales Manager, Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo; Mirza Fajudeen, Director Rooms Division, Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo; Chandana Talwatte, Director of Sales & Marketing, Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo.