By Shamseer Jaleel
The Sri Lankan Sevens outfit will kick-off the second leg of the Asian Sevens Series 2016 in Seoul, South Korea today and will feature in the very first game of the day when they lock horns with Singapore in a group encounter.
The tournament will be continued tomorrow as well at the Namdong Asiad Rugby Stadium with eights men’s and an equal number of women’s teams battling it out for supremacy in two segments. Hong Kong was placed number one and Sri Lanka ended as runners-up in the Hong Kong first leg three weeks ago. In the women’s segment Asian Giants, Japan continued their good form in tandem by securing the cup with China ending up as runners-up.
Sri Lanka will have more experience in their starting line-up compared to the first leg in Hong Kong with the return of Kanchana Ramanayake, Richard Dharmapala and Srinarth Sooriyabandara all recovering from their injuries but will miss out on Dixon and Jason through injury. Sri Lanka will play Singapore (8:52 a.m.) and then later play Malaysia (11:56 a.m.) and China (3:12 p.m.) today in their group encounters on day one and are very likely to move forward to the cup semi-final without much difficulty.
Sri Lanka skipper Danushka Ranjan said: “We want to top the group and continue our good form like in Hong Kong. We will miss out on two top players who did really well in Hong Kong that is Dixon and Jason. Happy to see the three experience players (Soori, Richard and Kanchana) back in the squad for second. Team: Danushka Ranjan (Capt.), Dhanushka Dyan, Srinarth Sooriyabandara, Richard Dharmapala, Kanchana Ramanayake (all from Kandy SC), Tharinda Ratwatte, Kavindu Perera, Omalka Gunaratne, Shashan Mohamed (all from CR&FC), Dulaj Perera, Hirantha Perera (Havies) and Saliya Handapangoda (Navy SC). Head Coach – Matt Turner, Manager – Rohan Chinthaka, Trainer – Nick Groube
Pool A – Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Taipei
Pool B – Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, China
Pool C – Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Uzbekistan
Pool D – China, Thailand, South Korea, Guam