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Aruna Rankothge excellent rugby coach and referee

Daily News logo Daily News 22/06/2021 Daily News (via HT Media Ltd.)

Aruna Rankothge was a top man in the rugby field, a product of St. Sylvester’s College, where he learnt the game and played, and was a coach and referee. For his school he played as a back division and third row player and one of the interesting players of his generation, he earned a nickname as Rankoth. He was a knowledgeable ruggerite, and was an Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) elite’A’ panel International ‘A’ Division Referee

He represented his school senior team from1989-1991. Later turned out for Kandy SC in (1991) and for Kandy Youth CC for two years as a flanker and cenrre. He was in the International Panel of the ARB. He was successful at the Level Three Referees Course conducted by the IRB and held in Dubai. He gained promotion to the Elite A Panel of International Referees of the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU). He has visited every rugby-playing country in Asia and has a particular affinity with Dubai, which country he has gone eight times to referee the Asian Five Nations Tournament, the Dubai Sevens and the World Cup Sevens. This year, he stood in the final of the Asian Division Two Tournament match between Korea and Taipei in the Philippines.

He was a knowledgeable player, coach and referee. His first coaching assignment was with his alma mater St. Sylvester’s College, where he gave his best in coaching and helped the school to enter “A”Division and helped to put up a stunning display in defeating Trinity College 6-0 at Nittawela in 1998. By a strange twist of fate Aruna Rankothge successfully coached the Trinity junior rugby teams for several years before he quit.

He has over 25 years experience in rugby refereeing both in Sri Lanka and abroad. He has been in the Asian Rugby referees panel for a longtime and has officiated at top level club and school rugby matches including the prestigious Bradby Shield and couple of cup finals His experience in rugb y refereeing took him to many countries like India, Pakistan, China, Japan,Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Dubai, Philippines, Indonesia and Abu Dhabi. He had the honour of refereeing at the under 20 Junior World Cup (IRB)qualifying matches in China (2004), Korea (2008), and Philippines (2009).

He was also picked to officiate at the South East Asian rugby sevens tournament inThailand (2007). He was given a promotion and did the big league at the Asian Five nation encounter between Arabian Gulf and Hong Kong in Dubai and the India vs Kazakhstan encounter as an assistant referee.

He did another assignment at the Dubai Sevens in December 2010 and 2011. He was a vice president of Sri Lanka Rugby Referees Society on many occasions and has given his best in refereeing.

He was an ‘A ‘division referee and also a nex-international panel referee, former ARFU ‘A ‘panel referee, Level 3qualified referee and a Level II TMO. He was one time president of the Central Province Referees Society nnd was elected VP of Rugby Referees Society.

His knowledge in the game was great. With a complete knowledge of the Laws of the Game, was a better referee, a better player, coach, and a fan. He is a person who never stoppped learning. The more you know, the more you can do and see.

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