The rugby scene in schools is reported to be in a disturbed state with some affluent academic institutions poaching players and even going to the extent of offering monitory rewards to these recruits.
A source who didn’t wish to be named told Nation that a leading school in Colombo had recruited a player from a less popular school with the promise that this academic institution will bear the cost of his (the player’s) leg operation. The operation is said to cost over Rs 200,000.
Some very ambitious schoolboy rugby players are also reported to be very calculative in their moves in joining top rugby playing schools. A player making a crossover has to wait one year before representing his new academic institute in the face of objections being raised by his old school about continuing rugby immediately.
But these schoolboys are so shrewd and work around this problem by joining a school which has no rugby. They then make their exit after a short stay in this ‘transit school’ and join the school of their dream. The school rugby authorities have no laws to stop such a move because the rules don’t apply when a student crosses over from a school which doesn’t play rugby. School rugby laws specify that a player joining another school doesn’t have to wait one year to play rugby if he brings a clearance (no objection) letter from the school he is leaving.
Another gimmick being planned is some schools making provisions to allow students who have failed the mathematics exam at the GCE Ordinary Level Exam twice to remain with them in the Arts classes with the motive of allowing them to play rugby. These institutes call these groups ‘repeat classes’.
According to the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLARFA) President Ranjith Chandrasekare a student who has failed the mathematics paper in the first attempt can’t join another school. “The SLSRFA will be very strict on players violating the academic laws of the country. I have heard of individuals with failed track records in studies making attempts to join other schools to play rugby. We are waiting for this to happen to take action,” said Chandrasekare.
Meanwhile, Chandrasekare said the Annual General Meeting of the SLSRFA will be held on April 3 (Sunday) at Royal College.