Meet the rugby clubs
Police will rely on its forwards
Forwards have played a key role in the success of the Police during
the last few years and they will be relied upon to deliver the goods
this season too despite the loss of five top players due to disciplinary
The Policemen scored an impressive 32-21 win over Old Zahirians after
suffering two heavy defeats at the hands of Army (12-32) and CR and FC
(3-51) but should perform much better as the season progresses.
Police's rugby resurgence began in 2001 when they registered six
victories in nine outings in the first round of the Caltex 'A' Division
League and went down fighting to the mighty Kandy SC in the semi-finals
of the Clifford Cup (11-18) after having edged out the formidable CR and
FC (14-12) in the quarter-finals.
In the President's Trophy Tournament they scored two smashing wins
over Navy (35-18) and CH and FC (23-18) in the quarter-finals and
semi-finals respectively before losing to CR and FC (6-17) in the final.
In 2002 Police enjoyed another fine season winning 10 matches out of 15
in the Caltex 'A' Division League finishing in fourth position. They
also entered the Premier Champions Trophy final with a superb 36-27 win
over Army in the semi-final before losing to CR and FC (18-26) in the
In 2004 Police had another successful season winning eight matches
out of 14 to end up in fourth position in the 'A' Division League and
had the honour of beating Havelocks, CR and FC, CH and FC and Army in
the 'A' Division League.
The Sri Lanka Police reigned supreme in the club rugby scene in the
1980s winning the 'A' Division League rugby title for a record six years
in a row from 1984 to 1989.
Upali Vidanage's Policemen clinched the Clifford Cup by winning the
'A' Division league title in 1984 and in the following year (1985)
Police captained by Sunil Sahabandu clinched the rugby triple by bagging
the John Player League, Rugby Sevens title and the Clifford Cup with a
22-16 win over Havelocks in the final and in 1986 Police led by H.
Premasiri retained the John Player League Title.
In 1987 Muruga Jayaratne's Policemen bagged the Rugby Double by
winning the John Player League and the Premadasa Trophy with a smashing
31-12 win over Havelocks in the final.
In 1988 Police skippered by Ajantha Samarakoon once again bagged a
double by taking the Rugby Sevens title and John Player league.
In 1989 the Policemen under the leadership of Hafeel Marso had a
marvellous season by bagging the John Player League, Premadasa Trophy
(with a 12-4 win over CR) and Rugby Sevens title (with a 12-6 victory
over CR in the final) to clinch the triple crown.
In 1990 Police withdrew from rugby when the second North East war
broke out but in 1991 they returned to competitive rugby under the
captaincy of Hemantha Yatawara and took the rugby double by winning the
John Player League and Clifford Cup by edging out CH and FC (13-11) in
But in the mid-1990s Police's rugby standard declined with the exodus
of their players to other clubs while several others hung up their
This year Police will be led by number eight Nishantha Welagedera who
is a terrific player in the loose and a fine cover defender.
That resolute tackler T. D. Herath is assured of one flanker berth
while the other position will be filled by either Tuan Nizam, K. K.
Perera or Susantha Kumara.
The Policemen could boast of a solid front row. The prop-forwards
positions will be filled by the experienced duo of Anura Fernando and
Charaka Hewawasam. The experienced Asela Muthumala and young Chaminda
Silva will fight it out for the hookers berth.
The Policemen can be assured of plenty of possession from the line
outs with those two fine line out jumpers Pradeep Wilson and S. P.
Kulatunge playing as lock forwards. The other player who could fit into
the second row is Wekadapola.
Young Sujeewa Sampath will operate from the base of the scrum but he
faces a strong challenge from Anjula Silva. Occupying the pivotal
fly-half berth will be the experienced Sudesh Dissanayake who is also
the place kicker of the team. The other player who is eyeing this
position is Chaminda Fonseka.
Sri Lanka player Nilusha Fernando, a hard runner and a solid tackler
will be one of the centres with Muthusanka, Kulasena and Asela Perera
battling it out for the other position. Manning the two wings will be
Ranjith Kumara and former Kingswoodian Mohamed Jabbar with Ayaz Hassen
making a strong bid to oust one of them.
The last line of defence will be manned by Uditha Manoj. The other
player who could fit into this position is Thusitha Dissanayake.
The Policemen are being coached by former Sri Lanka prop-forward
Norman Silva assisted by ex-Sri Lanka scrum-half Sudath Sampath.
They are receiving all the encouragement and support from the
Chairman of Rugby, DIG Nimal Lewke and Secretary SSP Nihal Samarakoon.