Many in the rugby fraternity have formed their opinions on what type of contribution Nigel Ratwatte would have made for Trinity, had he played in a Bradby Shield encounter. Nigel, now a regular in the national rugby team, however, says that he is not very sure about his chances of playing for Trinity, had he stayed back, because according to him, making it to the First XV team at the Kandy school is a herculean task.
He cherishes migrating to South Africa after completing a season playing under 15 rugby for Trinity, mainly because he got an opportunity to be with his parents. As an individual he values family ties.
Nigel grew up in boarding school at King Edward the Seventh School in Johannesburg and says ‘almost everyone in my school played rugby’. According to him the school has about six teams for each age group and everyone tries to make it to the 1st team. The school has a population of about 5,000 students.
Back in South Africa the education system focuses on studies if they are to take part in sport. “So, I had to get my studies right,” he says. Students are also made to do more than one sport, a feature in the school’s culture which went well with Nigel.
He returned to Sri Lanka only a few years ago and now finds the time to witness the Bradby Shield encounter if he is around. “I rate it (The Bradby) as a grand and prestigious event for both players and old boys of the two schools. The Bradby I am sure gives goosebumps to most of the players when they run onto the field at this match,” reflects Nigel.
He missed the Trinity First XV jersey, but won the national jersey after returning home. “I don’t regret missing the Trinity First XV jersey. This is because I got the opportunity to represent one of the top schools in Johannesburg at rugby which had produced top international stars like Brian Habana and Scara Ntubeni. But I am glad I got the opportunity to represent my country which is the dream of any rugby player,” he says.
Nigel turned out with distinction for Kandy SC this year which team finished as domestic rugby champions.