Top stars to play in Mercantile Rugby Sevens Tournament | Daily News

Top stars to play in Mercantile Rugby Sevens Tournament

Action from the 2019 Cup final between MAS Holdings and Access Group
Action from the 2019 Cup final between MAS Holdings and Access Group

A host of current national stars and some ex-Sri Lankan players will be in action when the 50th annual Mercantile Seven-A-Side Rugby Tournament gets underway after a lapse of two years at the CR and FC Grounds in Longden Place today.

The Mercantile Rugby Sevens is a much-awaited annual event in the local rugby calendar, conducted by the Mercantile Rugby Football Association with the intention of developing and promoting rugby in the corporate sector. Another objective of the association has been to identify and nurture young rugby talent in order that they obtain gainful employment in the corporate sector.

In fact, the Mercantile Rugby Sevens Tournament has played a major role in this aspect as players who have been successful in displaying their talents and skills during the past tournaments have secured employment in leading corporations in the country.

The other significant feature in this tournament is that most of the top players who have represented the country have been identified and nurtured while participating in the Mercantile Tournaments. This year the tournament has attracted a total of 22 teams and will be conducted in four categories namely Cup, Plate, Bowl and Shield Championships.

The teams vying for honours in the Cup/Plate segment are John Keells Holdings ‘A’, Dialog Axiata ‘A’, 3DH International and John Keells Holdings ‘B’.

Meanwhile, the teams competing in the Bowl/Shield segment are Hela Apparel, Attune Lanka, NDB, Dasa Solutions, MAS Holdings, LOLC, Sampath Bank, Fairfirst Insurance, Ceylinco ‘B’, GSS International, Brandix, Dialog Axiata ‘B’ Moresand, CDB, Ceylinco ‘A’ DFCC, HSBC and Softlogic.

In fact, MAS Holdings are the joint defending champions of the Cup Championship but this year they will be competing in the Bowl/Shield segment due to the absence of their regular star players. John Keells ‘A’ Team won the Plate Championship, Brandix Intimates secured the Bowl title while 3DH International clinched the Shield title when the tournament was last held in 2019.

In addition, Attune Lanka, CDB Finance and Sampath Bank will compete in the Ladies’ Tag Rugby Tournament.

The past winners of the Mercantile Rugby Sevens Tournament:

1966 (Shaw Wallace and Hedges), 1967 (A. Baur and Company), 1968 (John Keells Limited), 1969 (John Keells Limited), 1970 (John Keells Limited), 1971 (Brown and Company Limited), 1972 (Brown and Company Limited), 1973 (No tournament), 1974 (John Keells Limited), 1975 (Shaw Wallace and Hedges), 1976 (No tournament), 1977 (No tournament), 1978 (Hatton National Bank), 1979 (Hatton National Bank), 1980 (John Keells Limited), 1981 (Hatton National Bank), 1982 (John Keells Limited), 1983 (No tournament), 1984 (Aitken Spence), 1985 (Ceylon Tobacco), 1986 (Ceylon Tobacco), 1987 (Jade Gardens SC), 1988 (No tournament), 1989 (Butani Exports), 1990 (Butani Exports), 1991 (Hatton National Bank), 1992 (Hatton National Bank), 1993 (Hatton National Bank), 1994 (John Keells), 1995 (Asia Capital), 1996

(Asia Capital), 1997 (Hatton National Bank), 1998 (John Keells Limited), 1999 (John Keells Limited), 2000 (Access International), 2001 (Hatton National Bank), 2002 (Hatton National Bank), 2003 (Sampath Bank), 2004 (Sampath Bank), 2005 (Butani Buckneers), 2006 (Seylan Bank), 2007 (Seylan Bank), 2008 (Emjay International), 2009 (Emjay international), 2010 (MAS

Holdings), 2011 (MAS Holdings), 2012 (Nation Lanka Finance), 2013 (MAS Holdings), 2014 (MAS Holdings), 2015 (MAS Holdings), 2016 (Access Group), 2017 (MAS Holdings), 2018 (Access Group), 2019 (MAS Holdings and Access Group).

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