Thursday, 18 September 2014 00:01
By Shamseer Jaleel
Kandy Sports Club, the only “A” division represented from Up Country with an existence of over a century years will have two South Africans and a Fijian as their overseas players for their 2014/2015 Inter Club rugby season which will commence in mid-November this year.
They also have got down their ever reliable, cool headed coach Johan Taylor.
Two South African players representing in the South African Currie Cup namely Quinton Crocker and Chrish Cloite both forwards will be in the country early next week. Kandy SC will miss the service of their star Tongan player David Halifornia who already signed up for a French Club. The third overseas player will be one of the Fiji Number 8 player Eroni Gadolo, who had played rugby in Fiji as well as in New Zealand. Eroni will be in Sri Lanka later this month.
Kandy will be led by former Trinity and Sri Lanka skipper Sean Wijesinghe who is a strict disciplined lad on the field with a balanced outfit with youth and experience. In 2007 Kandy SC were League Championship, Clifford Cup and defeated all teams in that year with Taylor coming in as their head Coach. In this year they became not only the Triple champions but also remained unbeaten in the season. Kandy SC continued their winning streak in 2008 and 2009. The following two years too Kandy remained as the league and Clifford Cup champions though could not remain unbeaten. The downfall of Kandy SC started in the year 2012 when they lost the League to Havies but defended the Clifford cup. But the year 2013 they lost both to Sri Lanka Navy. Taylor was also the Head of Coach of the National team in 2008 in the Asian Five Nations Division I tournament when they beat Singapore and qualified for the Top 5 the following year. He is also a fine Golfer winning the men’s segment at the Oman Air Golf Open Championship which was conducted at the Victoria Golf and Country Resort course in Digana.
The side will have some new faces this year with former Up Country SC player Nigel Ratwatte and Buwanaka Udangamuwa joining the Nittawela club. Their forward line will strengthen with the inclusion of two South African players Quinton Crocker, Chrish Clotte and pack leader Eroni Gadolo. Kandy Sports club is very fortunate to have Malik Samarawickrema as its patron, and he was turning point to bring back Kandy SC to this high standard. Before his entry though the Club was more than 100 years have neve won a single trophy till 1992.Kandy will also have their senior player such as Asian famed and National sevens skipper Fazil Mairja, Anurudha Wilvara, Gayan Weeraratne, Richard Dharmapala, Lavanga Perera and Roshan Weeraratne turning out for the Nittawela club and the rugby crazy spectators who are behind the club when at win or losing. Trinity second row forward and National Youth Skipper Randika Alwis already joined Army SC for this year rugby season.
Johan Taylor, level III rugby coach from Ireland who took over the Kandy SC coaching in 2007 and continued till 2012 is back at his former club, Kandy Sports Club and already started the sessions with the group young and experienced players who will lock horns in November this year expecting to bring back the League plus the knock out back to their club house at Nittawela. He will have two South African players joining the club later on next month along with two more Pacific Island players.