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Sri Lanka - strong contender for Asian Youth Rugby Title

ďThe Sri Lanka Under-20 team is a strong contender for the Asian Youth Rugby Title along with Hong Kong and host nation South Korea,Ē said Sri Lanka Junior Coach Sanath Martis on the eve of the teamís departure to Seoul, South Korea for the tournament which will be worked off from November 3 to 10, 2008.

He said that the Sri Lanka Under-20 team has been practising hard for the last one month and have the services of nine players from last yearís squad and will pose a strong challenge to defending champions Hong Kong and hosts South Korea in the eight-nation championship.

Sri Lanka who have been drawn into Group ĎBí will confront Singapore in their first match on November 4 and two days later will take on the winners of the Hong Kong-Chinese Taipei match with the final scheduled for November 10. Host nation South Korea are in Group ĎAí along with Malaysia, Thailand and Kazakhstan.

Under the guidance of Martis the Sri Lanka youth team finished third in last yearís Youth Rugby Asiad in Brunei by beating Thailand (12-6) and losing to Hong Kong (0-6) before thrashing Malaysia (43-0) in the third place play off.

Nine players from last yearís tournament have retained their places in the youth rugby team - skipper Dinusha Chathuranga, Bilal Hassen, Sajith Saranga, Ishan Noor, Poornaka Dalpachitra, Dilanka Gunatilleke, Gayan Ratnage, Chanaka Peters and Harsha Weerakkody.

The Sri Lanka youth team: PROP FORWARDS: Shane Sammandaperuma (Wesley), Dilanka Gunatilleke (Dharmaraja), M.R. Rizwan (Kingswood), Ishan Noor (St. Peterís).

HOOKERS - Bilal Hassen (Royal), Migara Madugalle (Isipatana and CH and FC).

LOCK FORWARDS: Kalana Amarasinghe (Royal), Hasthika Bandaranayake (Royal), Migara Wijeratne (Vidyartha).

FLANKERS - Gayan Ratnage (Kingswood), Poornaka Delpachitra (St. Peterís), Sharo Fernando (St. Peterís and Havelocks).

NUMBER EIGHT - Sajith Saranga (Isipatana and CH and FC).

SCRUM HALVES - Srinath Suriyabandara (Isipatana), Roshan Weeraratne (Kingswood).

FLY HALF - Niroshana Fernando (Isipatana).

CENTRES - Dinusha Chathuranga (Captain, Isipatana), Harsha Weerakkody (St. Peterís), Chanaka Peters (St. Josephís), Dilshan Paul (St. Peterís).

WINGERS - Chanaka Gunaratne (St. Anthonyís, Kandy), Gerald Canute (St. Peterís), Vishwamithra Jayasinghe (Isipatana).

FULL BACK - Dilshan Devananda (St. Jospehís).

COACH - Sanath Martis

ASSISTANT COACH - Ananda Kasturiarachchi

MANAGER - Senarath Alwis

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