Nippon Paint Sri Lanka Rugby Major League Tournament Set to Kick Off on December 1

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The eagerly awaited ‘Nippon Paint Sri Lanka Rugby Major League Tournament’ is all set to commence its third edition for the 2023/24 season, as announced by Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR). After a year-long hiatus, rugby enthusiasts in the country will be treated to seven weeks of thrilling games featuring eight participating teams.

World Rugby recently lifted the suspension, allowing Sri Lanka to resume the tournament. The event will showcase top-notch rugby as the eight teams compete across venues in the Western and Central Provinces.

Expressing gratitude to those involved in lifting the ban, Group Captain Nalin de Silva, head of SLR, acknowledged the crucial role played by the Minister of Sports, his Ministry officials, Asian and World Rugby, and all other stakeholders. He highlighted their tireless efforts that made the tournament possible.

“We are extremely delighted to kick-start rugby in the country after over a year,” said Group Captain Nalin de Silva during a media briefing. He expressed thanks to the tournament sponsor, Nippon Paint, and appreciated the commitment of the eight clubs and their officials to participate during challenging times.

The tournament will commence with a night game between Havelocks and Air Force at 6:30 p.m. on December 1. Subsequently, three games are scheduled for Saturday, December 2, with defending champions Kandy hosting CH & FC on Sunday, December 3, in Nittawela.

Rear Admiral Udaya Hettiarachchi, heading the tournament committee, announced a one-week break from December 17 to 28, coinciding with the Christmas festival season. Following the break, the tournament will resume and continue until February 21 before progressing to the knockout stage.

The top four teams at the end of the league stage will advance to the Cup Championship, while the bottom four will compete in the Bowl Championship.

Inclusivity is a key focus for SLR, with a 10-a-side women’s league featuring four teams: Army, Air Force, Navy, and CR & FC. Women’s games are scheduled to start at 3:45 p.m., preceding the men’s games. Matches hosted by Havelocks will be played under lights.

The Sri Lanka Rugby Referees Association (SLRRA) has appointed eight top referees for the tournament, with a three-member advisory committee reviewing their performances.

Nemantha Abeysinghe, Director/General Manager of Nippon Paint (Pvt) Limited, expressed gratitude to SLR for the third consecutive year, emphasizing their commitment to supporting youth in various sports.

As rugby fans eagerly anticipate the kickoff, the Nippon Paint Sri Lanka Rugby Major League Tournament promises an exciting season of sportsmanship and competition.

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