It is with great sadness Sri Lanka Rugby wishes to announce the passing away of Mr. George Simpkin.
George Dreadon Simpkin aged 77, a legend in coaching and administration of rugby passed away thismorning at his home town of Matamata, New Zealand, after being ill for some time.
Mr. Simpkin was a former coach of Sri Lanka Rugby. He was keenly involved with Rugby in Sri Lanka at different levels, and always supported the initiatives to move Rugby forward. One of the most memorable and unforgettable events held in Sri Lanka’s rugby history was the famous‘Carlton Super 7s’, which was introduced to Sri lanka by Mr. Simpkin. He brought down some of the very best players in 7’s Rugby from around to world to play the tournament for several years which was a great success. This tournament ensured the local players got the international exposurethey needed, in result the rugby standard inSri Lankawent to a different level.
Mr. Simpkin was also involved in organizing andconducting the‘Hong Kong 7s’ tournament which is one of the top international tournaments at present. He is instrumental in setting the foundation and development of Hong Kong rugby. His legacy is still felt in Hong Kong to this day.
In addition Mr. Simpkin coached other foreign teams
as well. Including China, the
German national team, and also the Fiji national team whichqualified for the
quarter finals of the 2007 Rugby World Cup. He was also involved in coaching in
New Zealand at his province and club,
where he molded players to represent their National team.
He has coachedmany world renowned rugby players.His coaching knowledge was admired and used by many coaches, one of thembeing Sir Gordon Tietjens.
Mr. Simpkin was not only a coach, but a professor in thegame of rugby. He always looked for innovative ideas resulting in even therule books being re-written especially in the 7s rugby game. He did a time management study of seven’s rugby at the Hong Kong Seven’s, and thereafter effected a number of changes during the 1990’s. Some of the major changes included the quick line-out throw-in, drop kick for try conversions, the try scoring team kicking off at the restart, and hookers binding under the props at scrums to name a few.One of his mostinnovative creations was the kicking tee.
Mr. George Simpkin, born 22nd May 1943, passed away at the age of 77 on 7th May 2020. Loved husband of Philippa Eve, father of Leigh and Greer and grandfather of Carter, Holly and Curtis. Loved also by rugby players and fans around the world. There will be no funeral for George at this time. Instead please light a candle tonight in his memory. All communications to the Simpkin family can be sent to: Number 6, Tamihana Street, Matamata, New Zealand.
Mr. Lasitha Gunaratne (President Sri Lanka Rugby), sending
his condolences said; George you are a great human being. An amazing coach and
a great friend. You will be dearly missed.
The president, council members, and all members of Sri Lanka Rugby,along with the Rugby fraternity in Sri Lanka is ever grateful for the help and contribution Mr. Simpkin gave to our beloved game. You will always be remembered. We convey our deepest sympathies to his wife and family. May his soul restin peace.
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