The rugby fraternity patiently awaits the start of yet another Dialog Rugby League that will take center stage in the sporting arena when it kicks off on the 9th of November 2018.
With eight teams going head to head, it will be a decisive tourney for the coaching staff of the respective teams with 16 weeks of league action ahead of them.
With the Dialog Club Rugby League just a few days…..
ThePapare takes a look at the coaches who will take the field this season in the Dialog Rugby League.
1. Sean Wijesinghe – Kandy Sports Club
One of the youngest coaches to win a Dialog Rugby League title, the legendary player turned coach is on the hunt for his 4th successive league title. After winning the league as captain for Kandy Sports Club in the 2014/15 season, Wijesinghe took on the coaching role for the side and has continued on winning ways ever since.
Rumor has it that the young coach will not be part of the local rugby arena next season so having won the double crown last time around and with an unbeaten season under his belt, Wijesinghe will be looking to sign off with a bang.
He will be assisted by Fazil Marija this season.
2. Mothilal Jayathilake – Navy Sports Club
The veteran coach will be in charge of the runners-up from last year’s league, Navy Sports Club. Jayathilake joined the Sailors in 2016 and has since then brought Navy back to the top end of the League table.
Navy has always been the outfit that troubled the high-flying boys from Kandy. With the injection of new blood to the side, the Sailors will be looking at bringing home the Dialog Rugby League title that they last won in 2014.
He will be assisted by former Navy player Dev Anand.
3. Sanath Martis – Havelock Sports Club
Veteran coach Sanath Martis will have the huge responsibility of handling the new look Havelock Sports Club team this season. With many players signing for other clubs during the off-season, Martis, who has experienced immense success in the Schools’ arena, will have his work cut out, marshalling a young side.
Having cherished victory with St. Peter’s College at the Milo President’s Trophy this season building a championship team from scratch, Martis will be looking to do the same with the Park Club boys this season.
4. Ronnie Ibrahim – CH & FC
The turnaround team from last year, CH & FC will be looking to continue their good form this time too. With an influx of top young talent from around the country, coach Ronny Ibrahim will be looking at making the best use of the talent he has at hand as CH look to dethrone Kandy.
Dinesh Kumara will be the assistant coach for the side.
5. Nilfer Ibrahim – CR & FC
Champion coach Nilfer Ibrahim will make it to Longdon Place looking to bring change to the depleted CR & FC outfit. Having made headlines in the schools’ league, Nilfer had a rather satisfactory stint with Army last season.
With new signings for the CR club, the red shirts will eye the league title and a top podium finish this season. The club last finished in the top 3 back in 2015.
Anuranga Walpola will be Nilfer’s assistant coach.
6. Nihal ‘Viper’ Gunaratne – Army SC
Experienced coach Nihal ‘Viper’ Gunaratne is at the helm of Army SC this season. The Soldiers were exemplary in the first-round last season but failed to continue their success thereafter. One of the wisest persons in the game of rugby in Sri Lanka, the challenge for Army will getting players, who have had relatively less experience in the game at the school level, to step up against men who have been in the sport all their lives.
Asanka Perera will be the team’s assistant coach.
7. Shamly Nawaz – Police SC
The CR & FC veteran will continue his stint at Police for this upcoming Dialog Rugby League season. Finishing 7th last season, Police will look to climb up in the ranks with the experienced campaigners still continuing to play for the side.
Nawaz who recently enjoyed success at Zahira College will find the Police test one of the most difficult challenges he will face this year.
Asanga Rodrigo will be the assistant coach for Police.
8. Fereti Verebula
The Fijian Fereti will move from Longdon Place to Ratmalana this season when he takes up duties as coach for the Air Force side. Air Force struggled without a proper coaching division last year and Fereti is in to make a difference. Having arrived to coach Army in 2015, Fereti has had stints with CR & FC, Royal College and the Sri Lanka national fifteens side. The Air Force team will be a different challenge with a new set of players.
Stay logged on to ThePapare.com for exclusive action from the Dialog Rugby League 2018/19.