Yoshitha leads team for Asian Five-Nations:
Sri Lanka in search of glory in Manila
In a quest of regaining a place in the top division of the Asian Five
Nation Rugby Division One segment,Sri Lanka ruggerites will leave for
Manila, Philippines tomorrow to take part in the important contest to be
held from April 14 to 21.
Sri Lanka squad
Yositha Rajapaksa (Navy ,Captain ), Henry
Terrence (Havelocks), Achala Perera (Kandy SC), Kishore
Jehan (Kandy), Hasitha Perera (Up-Country Lions), Sharo
Fernando (Up-Country Lions), SajithSaranga (Kandy), Sumedha
Malawana (Navy), Srinath Sooriyabandara (Up-Country Lions),
Rehan Weerakoon (Navy), Charith Seneviratne (Air Force),
Dinusha Chaturanga (Navy), Dinesh Kumara (Havelocks), Reza
Mubarak (CR&FC), Sandun Herath ( Havelocks), Nushal Meepage
(Army), Sathya Ranatunga ( Navy), Namal Rajapakse (Navy),
G.Ratnayake (Kandy), Saliya Handapangoda( Army), Dhiren
Warnakulasuriya ( Havelocks), Dev Anand (Navy), Mohammed
Sherif (CR&FC), Suranga Pushpakumara (Navy), Manager. Air
Commodore Leonard Rodrigo. Coach. Phil Greening, Assistant
coach. Sanath Martis
Under the guidance of new coach, Welshman Phil Greening and skipper
Yositha Rajapaksa Sri Lanka will field a young and talented outfit and
are confident of giving a good run for their money when they confront
Chinese Taipei, Singapore and host Philippines.
The Sri Lankans who played in the top division last year held UAE to
a draw, but were soundly beaten by Asian heavyweights Japan, Hong Kong
and Kazakhstan which resulted in them being relegated to the lower
division. But will go all out this year to win the Asian Five Nations
and get promoted again to the top division.
The Sri Lanka team is a blend of youth and experience led by skipper
Yositha Rajapaksa who has been a source of inspiration to his team mates
with his fiery loose play, ably supported by seasoned campaigners
Kishore Jehan, Achala Perera, Sajith Saranga, Charith Seneviratne, Reza
Mubarak and strurdily built Sumedha Malewana and talented youngsters
Sharo Fernando, Srinath Sooriyabandara, Rehan Weerakoon and Sandun
Herath and will endeavour to give of their best.
Skipper Yositha Rajapaksa said on the eve of departure of the team
that his team has been practicing vigourously for the last three weeks
under the expertise of the new coach Phil Greening and are confident and
determined to give a good account of themselves despite a few senior
players opting out for personal reasons. Yositha also said that it is a
pride to represent the country at any given time as playing for the
country is the greatest asset in a player's career. He was also
confident of getting the best of each player as his one ambition was in
bringing glory and honour to the country.
Coach Phil Greening expected the competition to be a stiff one.
“Lanka will face tough competition specially from the vastly improved
Philippines and Singapore. But I am confident that the team will
overcome all obstacles and gain promotion to the Asia division one
,where next year where they will be pitted against Japan,Hong kong,
Kazakahstan and the UAE. Greening also said that the priority of the
players should be to play for the country which is the ultimate goal of
The team prior to leaving to their final destination Philippines will
practice with the Hong Kong team in Hong Kong which will no doubt
sharpen their skills and provide them with valuable exposure.