South African coaches confident Sri Lanka will come up Asian
RUGBY: Sri Lanka’s two new South African rugby coaches-Dawie Snyman
and Norman Laker, who took charge of the national team a fortnight ago,
expressed confidence of the team rising up the Asian rankings by the end
of 2008. Snyman and Laker who both hail from Stellenbosch, Western Cape
in South Africa, felt that Sri Lanka’s Sevens and 15-a-side teams have
much potential to make the grade in the Asian region.
“We have come to Sri Lanka for the first time and are delighted to
take up our assignments”, head coach Snyman told Sunday Observer at a
training session of National Sevens team at Longden Place.
“Our initial challenge will be the Singer Sri Lankan Sevens in Kandy
from September 5-7, and then it will be the Rugby World Cup (RWC)
qualifiers in Hong Kong from October 4-5”. Snyman, 27, said that he and
his Assistant Coach Norman Laker both have had rugby coaching experience
in the Super-14 rugby competition, (the world’s foremost regional rugby
tournament) with the Western Province, and insisted it could stand in
good stead for them during their short stint in Sri Lanka. “My
experience in South Africa should come in handy when coaching the Sri
Lanka Sevens and 15-a-side teams”, he said.
“Of course, I cannot compare the standards in my country to that of
yours, there is such a vast difference, but I guess I should be able to
bring something new to the table.”
The new head coach of the Sri Lanka Sevens and 15-a-side squads Dawie
Snyman added that the skill level of the national players were
‘reasonably good’, and all that was needed was to channel that talent
ahead of tough international competitions. Norman Laker, 27, speaking of
his involvement with the National Sevens and 15-a-side teams, noted that
he will primarily function as the Assistant to compatriot Dawie Snyman,
and have more of an input into the Sevens version.
“I am excited at the prospect of coaching Sri Lanka with my
colleague, and I hope our involvement with Sri Lanka rugby, will be a
rewarding experience both for us and Sri Lanka”.
Both Snyman and Laker, observed that they will be initially
contracted with the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) for a