By Devin Jayasundera
Focuss, a subsidiary of Sri Lanka’s premier apparel company Emerald, announced its appointment as the Official Casual and Formal Wear Provider for the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union at a media briefing. The members of the Sri Lanka Rugby team, selection committee and the Board of Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union attended the event.
Emerald International (Pvt) Ltd., the Official Formal Wear Provider for Sri Lanka Cricket, has been instrumental in popularising cricketing fashion and merchandise in Sri Lanka. Emerald International General Manager Murad Rahimdeen noted that even though rugby was the second most popular sport in Sri Lanka, the gap between cricket and rugby was immense.
Therefore, in order to popularise the sport, Emerald has taken the opportunity to market the brand Focuss among the Sri Lankan public through rugby. He added that providing official wear to the players would give them the confidence to carry the game forward and encourage school players to continue with the game after they leave school.
Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union President Air Marshall Roshan Gunatilaka addressing the media stated that as Sri Lanka hoped to secure its bid for the Commonwealth Games 2018, foundation programmes were being developed in all sports, including rugby, to increase the chances of securing the bid.
“This contract between SLRFU and Emerald International symbolises the admiration and recognition of the service rendered by the Sri Lanka Rugby Team,” he added.
He also commented on the recent issues that SLRFU had faced due to its administration mishaps and said it should not be a burden on the performance of the team.
“It is time that we recognise our rugby players, who represent our country. Collaborating with Focuss in this endeavour will ensure the care of the personal needs of the rugby players and will increase the professionalism of the sport,” said Head Coach of Sri Lanka Rugby Ellis Meachen.
He also noted that these initiatives would encourage school players to take the game after they leave school, which would expedite the development of rugby in Sri Lanka.