"Rugby's Resurgence: Inaugural Governor’s Cup Under-24 Sevens Tournament to Showcase Emerging Talents from Nine Provinces"

A thrilling spectacle awaits rugby enthusiasts as eighteen teams gear up for the inaugural Governor’s Cup Under-24 rugby sevens tournament at the Race Course Stadium on November 18th. Kicking off at 7:45 a.m., this event marks a significant milestone for the sport, offering a platform for emerging talents, both men and women, from all nine provinces in the country.

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Western Province Governor Marshal of the Air Force Roshan Gunethilleke and Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR), the tournament becomes a reality following the relaxation of the ban imposed by World Rugby (WR). Governor Gunethilleke's vision aims to rejuvenate the oval-shaped ball game, providing an opportunity for school leavers and aspiring players who aspire to compete at the highest level.

Addressing the need for increased opportunities, Governor Gunethilleke highlighted, "We can see that 80 percent of players representing schools leave the game after concluding their educational careers for various reasons. With only eight clubs in the top rugby league, a limited number of players get the chance to play for them. To bridge this gap, we consulted with SLR President Group Captain Nalin de Silva to initiate a tournament involving all nine provinces."

The tournament focuses on the under-24 age category, ensuring that three players are under 21, providing a platform for school leavers to showcase their talents. Governor Gunethilleke emphasized, "Our aim is to increase the number of players in the game and spread rugby across all nine provinces. This event is not only about competition but also about fostering growth and inclusivity in the sport."

Highlighting the uniqueness of the event, Governor Gunethilleke shared, "From the next tournament, all other provinces will have the opportunity to host, encouraging widespread participation and contributing to the game's development. This signifies a positive step forward for rugby in Sri Lanka."

The Governor’s Cup promises not only exciting matches but also a promising future for rugby, empowering young talents and promoting the sport across the diverse landscapes of the country.

"Revitalizing Rugby: Nine Men's and Women's Teams Vie for Glory in Historic Governor’s Cup Under-24 Tournament"

In a groundbreaking move to rejuvenate the sport, nine men's and an equal number of women's teams are set to clash in the upcoming Governor’s Cup Under-24 rugby sevens tournament. Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) has taken a bold step by excluding A division players, ensuring a level playing field for other participants. Following World Rugby (WR) rules and regulations, matches will be officiated by Sri Lanka Rugby Referees, with male referees overseeing the men's games and female referees presiding over the women's matches.

Anticipation is high as the tournament marks a significant return for rugby in the country after a suspension, thanks to the innovative vision of Governor Roshan Gunethilleke. The tournament's unique concept, embracing teams from all nine provinces, aligns with the global celebration of 200 years of rugby history and SLR's own 145-year milestone. The event is poised to make its mark in the history books.

Expressing excitement about the tournament, Group Captain Nalin de Silva, SLR President, stated, "We are extremely delighted to kickstart rugby in the country after the suspension. With the novel idea of Roshan Gunethilleke, the Governor, we got on board to spread the game across the country with the participation of the nine provinces. This tournament, coinciding with the world celebrating 200 years of Rugby history and SLR marking 145 years, is destined to become a historic event."

De Silva further emphasized the commitment to making the tournament a success, thanking Governor Gunethilleke for initiating such a significant event. "I thank the Governor for coming forward to inaugurate a tournament of this nature and showing keenness in spreading and developing the game which he loves the most. We, as the Governing Body, have made all endeavors to make this a successful event with the support of our sponsors," concluded Group Captain Nalin de Silva.

In conclusion, the Governor’s Cup Under-24 rugby sevens tournament stands as a pivotal moment in the resurgence of rugby in Sri Lanka. With a visionary initiative led by Governor Roshan Gunethilleke, the competition not only marks a triumphant return to the rugby arena after a suspension but also pioneers an inclusive approach by excluding A division players, ensuring a fair and competitive playing field.

The tournament, aligning with the global celebration of 200 years of rugby history and SLR's 145-year milestone, is destined to etch its name in the annals of the sport's legacy. As nine men's and women's teams from diverse provinces gear up to showcase their talent, the event symbolizes a commitment to spreading the love for rugby across the country.

Under the leadership of SLR President Group Captain Nalin de Silva, the governing body expresses utmost delight in contributing to the success of this historic event. The Governor’s Cup not only signifies a celebration of rugby but also embodies the spirit of development, inclusivity, and passion for the game.

Looking ahead, this tournament is poised to become an annual fixture, providing an opportunity for each province to host and compete for the prestigious "Governor’s Cup." As the rugby community eagerly anticipates the kick-off, the Governor’s Cup promises not just thrilling matches but also a renewed era for rugby in Sri Lanka, fueled by collaboration, dedication, and a shared love for the sport.