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Monday, 12 April 2010

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Sri Lankan ruggerites brimming with confidence

The Sri Lanka rugby team will be brimming with confidence when they confront Chinese Taipei in the semi-final of the Asian Five Nations Division One Tournament at the National Stadium, Singapore on April 14 (Wednesday).

With the lifting of the ban on the 15 players from Kandy SC and CH and FC, Sri Lanka will be fielding its strongest team for the tournament.

“We have been training hard for the last four days under the watchful eyes of national coach Johan Taylor and are confident of emerging victorious in this tournament,” said skipper Pradeep Liyanage on the eve of the team’s departure to Singapore yesterday.

The Lankan team is a blend of youth and experience. Seasoned campaigners Ashen Karthelis, Senaka Bandara, Dushanth Lewke, Achala Perera, Fazil Marija, Saliya Kumara and skipper Pradeep Liyanage will play alongside talented youngsters of the calibre of Ishan Noor, Yoshitha Rajapaksa, Roshan Weeraratne, Gayan Weeraratne, Nuwan Hettiarachchi and Sajith Saranga.

Last year Sri Lanka lost to Chinese Taipei (24-36) in the semi-finals played in Dubai but scored a resounding 51-17 win over Thailand in the third place play off.

A victory over Chinese Taipei would not only help them to avenge last year’s defeat but will also give them a place in the final on April 17 in which they will confront the winners of the other semi-final between Malaysia and Singapore.

The Sri Lanka squad:

Prop Forwards - Henry Terrence (CR and FC), Kishore Jehan (Kandy SC), Eranga Swarnatillake (Kandy SC).

Hookers - Rajiv Perera (Havelocks), Achala Perera (Kandy SC).

Lock Forwards - Ashen Karthelis (CR and FC), Ishan Noor (CR and FC), Senaka Bandara (Kandy SC), Dinesh Sanjeewa (CH and FC).

Flankers - Sean Wijesinghe (Kandy SC), Yoshitha Rajapaksa (Navy), Dilip Selvam (Kandy SC).

Number Eight - Dushanth Lewke (CR and FC), Sajith Saranga (Kandy SC).

Scrum Halves - Zulki Hamid (CR and FC), Roshan Weeraratne (Kandy SC).

Fly Halves - Fazil Marija (Kandy SC), Ashan de Costa (CR and FC), Samantha Lakshan (Navy).

Centres - Pradeep Liyanage (captain, Kandy SC), Gayan Weeraratne (Kandy SC).

Wingers - Vishwamithra Jayasinghe (CR and FC), Nuwan Hettiarachchi (Navy).

Full Back - Saliya Kumara (Kandy SC).

Coach - Johan Taylor.

Manager - Rohan Guneratne.

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