Fantastic job by Sri Lanka Rugby, says ARFU President Aga Hussian

Friday, 26 October 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Shamseer Jaleel

Asia Rugby Football Union (ARFU) President Aga Hussain praised the way the third leg of the Asian Sevens 2018 was conducted by Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR).

Speaking to Daily FT, he said: “I became the President of the ARFU in November 2017 after being Vice President of both the Indian Rugby Union and ARFU in previous years. We want to consolidate and move forward in Asia and we are very happy with the growth of the game. We want to have player retention of at least 20%, we want to concentrate on quality rather than quantity in the tournament as we have more than 80 teams at present in Asia for a year. The game is growing very fast. We want to grow junior rugby at the Under-16 and Under-18 levels over the next five years. Having continuity and a feeder system is important for the senior teams. We have already introduced Under-18 and Under-16 will be introduced soon.

“Rugby in India where I come from has grown tremendously, especially the women’s segment which has more potential than then men’s game. We have supported them financially and with equipment to enable them to continue playing. But here both the men’s and women’s games have grown equally, which is good for the sport.”Hussain added: “I came to Colombo for the opening of this ground (Racecourse grounds) and it looks like a piece of class. Rugby has grown and Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) has put in a lot of hard work to achieve this. This tournament organised by SLR is excellent. All the other two venues in Hong Kong and South Korea did a remarkable job as well.”

“We will open out the tender process for the next three years, choosing the host countries for the Asian Sevens 2019-2021. Even Sri Lanka can reapply.”

Pic by Lahiru Harshana