Asian Sevens Under-20
By Shamseer Jaleel
Former Kingswood, Kandy and Navy SC player Nilfer Ibrahim - who aside from being the current coach of St. Joseph’s College was the former head coach of Dharmaraja, Trinity, Isipathana and the Sri Lanka Under-19 XV team - was appointed as the head of the coaching unit for the Under-20 Asian Sevens 2018, which will take place in Hong Kong on 11 and 12 August at the Kings Park rugby grounds between the top eight Asian countries drawn into two groups.
Ibrahim will succeed former Under-20 coach Sudath Sampath, who led the Sri Lankan side to a series win in 2016 (Kevin Dixon) and to a runner-up finish in 2017 under the captaincy of Naveen Henakankanamage.
Players from this recently ended season plus all the players who represented their schools in 2017 are also eligible to participate in the tournament as this will be an Under 20 age group event. The eyes of the national selectors will be opened with some magnificent performances at the recently concluded Sevens event where Kingswood, Vidyartha, St. Joseph’s and Royal displayed champagne Sevens rugby. Once again the leadership duty is likely to be held by national senior Sevens player, CH&FC’s Henakankanamage.
Ibrahim led Dharmaraja, Trinity, Isipathana and St. Joseph’s to many trophy wins. He was in charge of the XV-a-side national outfit at the Asian Rugby Championship Under-19 competition in 2016. He started off with a win as the head coach of CR&FC during the second leg of the club tournament which concluded last month.