Sri Lanka national rugby union team

Sri Lanka national rugby union team

Sri Lanka
Union Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union
Nickname(s) The brave Elephants
Coach(es) Leonard de Zilwa
Captain(s) Namal Rajapaksa
First international
 All Ceylon 6–33 New Zealand 
(12 September 1907)
Largest win
 Malaysia 3–77 Sri Lanka 
(7 November 2007)
Largest defeat
 Japan 129–6 Sri Lanka 
(8 October 2002)
World Cup
Appearances 0

The Sri Lanka National Rugby Union Team represents [2] They regularly compete in the Asian Five Nations tournament and are currently in Division I. In the 2010 tournament, they made it to the finals beating Chinese Taipei 37 to 7.


national team in 2014

Introduction of rugby to Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Rugby has a long history, dating back to the days of British colonialism. The first party to introduce Rugby to Sri Lanka is Kingswood College in Kandy, with the first club, Colombo Football Club, being established in 28 June 1879.[3]

International competition begins

The nation's first "national" match was on 12 September 1907 and involved an All Ceylon team against the professional All Blacks (the New Zealand rugby league team) under rugby union rules on their 1907–1908 New Zealand rugby tour of Australia and Great Britain.[4] The professional All Blacks won the match 33-6.[5] The Ceylon Rugby Football Union was founded 10 August 1908. In 1974 it changed its name to the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union.[3]

20th century

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

Both the 1930 and the 1950 British Lions tour to New Zealand and Australia played unofficial matches in Ceylon on their way home.[6]

Mahesh Rodrigo, better known as an international cricketer, also captained the national team.

World Cup qualifying

1995 World Cup

1995 was the first time Sri Lanka entered into a World Cup qualifying tournament. Sri Lanka was in Group A along with Japan, Taiwan and Malaysia. They lost all three games scoring an aggregate of 30 against 155. Japan went on to qualify for the World cup.

1999 World Cup

Sri Lanka participated in the 1999 Rugby World Cup qualifying and was in Round 1 with Thailand and Singapore. In the opening round, Sri Lanka won both games to qualify through to the second round. The next round was tough for Sri Lanka and it didn't go well with a lost to Chinese Taipei ending the hopes for the World Cup after defeating Malaysia earlier.

New millennium

The furthest they have made was to Round 2 of the Asian qualifying competition for the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France. The Sri Lanka rugby team performed above expectations during the qualifying campaign for the world cup, and saw its world ranking improve from 68th place to 43rd place, and its Asian ranking improve to fifth place.[7]

World Cup qualifying

2003 World Cup
2007 World Cup


Asian Five Nations and World Cup qualifying

2008 - 2010

Sri Lanka won Division One of the 2010 tournament beating Singapore (23-16), thereby winning promotion to the 2011 Asian Five Nations Top Five.

Asian Division 1

2011 - 2014

Home grounds

Main Home Ground


Current squad



Council Members

Former coaches

Assistant coaches

See also


  1. ^ "Sri Lanka Sports News". 2011-04-24. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b A 100 years of Unbroken Tradition!
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ Match Report
  6. ^  
  7. ^ Sri Lanka to host Rugby Asiad in November this year
  8. ^ "Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union". Retrieved 2011-12-02. 

External links

  • 2007 Rugby Asiad
  • Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union official web site
  • List and results of all IRB sanctioned international rugby games played by Sri Lanka