Sri Lanka Rugby  

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Rugby History

A 100 years of Unbroken Tradition!
The Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union has reached a milestone. Thus embarking on its 100th Year of existence. Since the inaugural rugby match which was witnessed in the year 1879, the historic meeting was held at the Grand Oriental Hotel on the 10th of August 1908 with the representatives of Kandy, Colombo, Uva, Kelani Valley, Dickoya, Dimbula regions.

Rugby takes shape in Ceylon
Many memorable moments have taken place which in turn has made every Sri Lankan rugby player tell his own unique story of the years gone by. With these thoughts in mind let us take a look at a few unforgettable events which have reshaped and reorganized the local Rugby culture.

Glory days
1879 (28th June) - Formation of first Rugby Club in Ceylon, namely The Colombo Football Club

1879 (30th June) - First Rugby match played between two selected teams, namely the Colombo Football Club vs The World

1889 (28th December ) - Present DMCC Pavilion opened

1896 - The Colombo Football Club amalgamated with the Colombo Hockey Club to form the Colombo Hockey and Football Club

1901 - Havelock Park opened

1907 (12th September) - First International Rugby match played in Ceylon between the New Zealand All Blacks and All Ceylon at Havelock Race

1911 - First Lady Clifford Cup match played between All Ceylon and the United Services

1915 - Havelock Sports Club formed – President Dr. V.R. Schockman

1926 - CR & FC elected an affiliated member of CRFU – the first Ceylonese Club to obtain this status

1932 - Ceylon RFU XV won All India Cup at all India Rugby Football Tournament

1950 - CRFU decided that the Clifford Cup be awarded to the Champions of the Inter District Tournament

1960 - CR & FC the first club to make an overseas tour to Thailand – played 3 matches

1973 - Tour of Sri Lanka by Athletic Club de Boulogne

1974 - Ceylon RFU renamed to as the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) as it is presently known as

1977 - SLRFU President's Trophy awarded for all teams that participated in the League Tournament

1977 - Trinity College & S. Thomas’ College – First schools to take part in an Overseas Schools Rugby Tournament

Past Presidents who have held fort at the SLRFU
1952 - Mr. V.C. Kellart
1953 - Mr. E.F.N. Gratien
1959 - Mr. A.L. Loos
1960-61 - Mr. J.W. Serasinghe
1965-66-67 - Mr. W.D. Ratnavale
1968-69 - Dr. K.B. Sangakkara
1970 - Cdr. E.L. Matthysz
1971 - Capt. W. Molagaoda
1972 - Mr. E.N. Vanlangenberg / Mr. S. Nawaratnam
1973 - Mr. M.C. Bostock
1974 - Mr. S. Nawaratnam
1975-76 - Mr. S.B. Pilapitiya
1977-78 - Mr. K. Rambukwella
1979-80 - Lt. Col. M.G. Ratwatte
1981-82 - Capt. W. Molagaoda
1983-84 - Mr. N.H. Omar
1985-88 - Mr. Y.C. Chang
1989-90 - Mr. Lionel Almeida
1991-92 - Mr. Malik Samarawickrama
1991-92 - Mr. Malik Samarawickrama
1994 - Brig. J.P.A. Jayawardena (Chairman)
1995-96 - Mr. G.A. Fernando
1997-98 - Dr. Maiya Gunasekera
1999-2000 - Mr. Anton Benedict
2001-2002 - Comdr. Harsha Mayadunne U.S.P.
2003-2004 - Mr. Mohan Balasuriya
2005-2006 - Mr. Priyantha Ekanayake
2007-2008 - Mr. Nimal Lewke D.I.G.

Golden Moments of Our History
1974 –Asian Championship - Runners Up
1984 – Hong Kong Sevens – Bowl Champions
2005- Women's Asian 7’s - Bowl Champions
2007 – Asian Championship –Runners Up