By Harsha Amarasinghe
CT Sports: Sri Lanka will be sans some of their key players when they battle it out in the Asia Rugby Championship which is scheduled to be held in Malaysia next month.
Kandy Sports Club’s league winning trio of scrum half Srinath Sooriyabandara, wing three quarter Vishvamithra Jayasinghe and full back Richard Dharmapala are all unavailable for selection as these players are currently overseas.
National Selection Committee Chairman, Michael Jayasekara confirmed that these players will not be considered for selection for the Asia Rugby Championship.
“Well, they are basically unavailable for the Asian Tournament. We hadn’t heard from them, but when we contacted them we realized they are not in the country. So, unfortunately they are not available for selection,” the former Sri Lanka ruggerite told Ceylon Today in an interview yesterday.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka are set to miss the services of Kandy SC flanker Shehan Pathirana due to an injury. The former Royal captain who shifted across to Kandy SC from Havelocks Sports Club has helped the Hill Capital Team to win two titles this season.
“Shehan will also miss this tournament as we have been told that he is suffering from an injury. He is a brilliant player and would have played a key role in the side had he been available for selection,” the Chief Selector added.
The Sri Lanka Squad will be announced on Friday (29) following two practice matches among the members of the 36-man National Pool.
“We played a match last week and now there are 36 members in the pool. They will have trials this Friday and after that we are hoping to announce the squad that will participate in the Asia Rugby Championship,” the former S. Thomas’ rugby star said.
Sri Lanka are also set to miss fly half and former captain Fazil Marija as the Kandy SC captain is still recovering from an injury he suffered during a league match.
“He is out of this tournament as he has not completely recovered from an injury. His experience as a player would have meant a lot for the team, but unfortunately he won’t feature in the squad,” he revealed regarding the absence of the former Kingswoodian.
However, Marija will be a part of the coaching staff for this tournament.
– Ceylon Today