By Shamseer Jaleel
Sri Lankan national selectors named the initial squad for the Asian Rugby Championship Division I which will take place in Malaysia from 14 to 20 May. Philippines, UAE and Malaysia will be the other three teams in the group event.
In a surprise move Sri Lanka Rugby appointed Fijian and Sri Lanka Army Head Coach Fereti Verebula for the Malaysian leg ahead of strong performer in club rugby, Ronny Ibrahim. Fereti will take charge of the fifteens outfit from Johan Taylor.
Fereti earlier coached Papua New Guinea in sevens rugby in 2015. He was also the assistant coach of the Fiji national women’s sevens team.
In order to be promoted to top three in Asia next year Sri Lanka will need to end on top in division I. There will be a playoff home and away game with the last placed (3rd placed) in top three and the winners of Division I. The winners of this event on aggregate will get promoted to top three in 2018.
Almost the entire Sevens squad was named in the fifteens outfit. The team’s high performance director will be Inthisam Marikar and Nick Globe will be the trainer of the touring outfit.
The Pool: Ganuka Disanayaka, Shehan Dimithri, Gayan Ratnayake, Suhiru Anthony, Chameera Silva, Shehan Pathirana, Buwanaka Udangamuwa, Roshan Weeraratna, Srinath Sooriyabandara, Arshad Jamaldeen, Fazil Marija, Danushka Ranajan, Kanchana Ramanayake, Richard Dharmapala, Lavanga Perera, Vishwamithra Jayasinghe, Danush Dayan, Jason Dissanayaka, Nigel Ratwatte, Gayan Weeraratne, Anuruddha Wilwara, Thilina Wijesinghe (All are from Kandy SC), Kavindu De costa, Shane Samaddaperuma, Tariq Salih, Tharinda Ratwatte, Banuka Nanayakkara, Shashan mohamed,Kavindu Perera, Prince Chamara, Omalka Gunaratne, Anuradha Herath, Charana Sandanayaka, Gayan Jayamanna, Riza Mubarak (all are from CR & FC), S. Muthuthanthri, Sharo Fernando, Ganidu Lakshan, Lasindu Karunathilaka, Sudam Suriyaarachchi, Jason Melder, Dushmantha Priyadarshana,Prasad Madushanka, Dulaj Perera, Niroshan Fernando, Hirantha Perera, Nishon Perera, Rohan Thaygarajah, Chamara Dabare, Ashan Darling, Kevin Dixon (all are from Havelocks SC), Danushka Perera, Supun Peiris, Nivanka Prasad, Sajith Saranga, Sathya Ranatunga, Stephan Gregory, Dulanjala Wijesinghe, Chanaka Chandimal, Richie Dharmapala, Lee Keegal, Dinusha Chaturanga, Buddima Piyaratne, Thilina Weerasinghe, Lahiru Lakshan, Saliya Handapangoda (all are from Navy SC), Mushin Falil, Joel Perera, Radeesha Seneviratne, Achala Perera, Charls Praveen, Wajid Fawmy, Riza Rafaideen (all are from Police SC), Iranga Ariyapala (Army)
Asia Rugby Championship Division I in Malaysia