League and Knock out winning Kandy SC skipper Roshan Weerarathne has been appointed as the National XV a side captain for the Asia Rugby championship which will take place in Malaysia from the 14th to the 20th of May.
Weerarathne, who is an excellent scrum half famed for controlling the game from the base through his quick and timely distribution and accurate kicking, earned his maiden national call up in 2010 for the Asian 5 Nations Division 1 Championship and will have fond memories of winning the maiden tournament he participated in. Since then he has been a regular in the national set up and was a member of the leadership group of the team last year as well.
Sri Lanka will be competing in the Asian Rugby Championship alongside Philippines, United Arab Emirates and hosts Malaysia. Sri Lanka came second last year in the competition having lost to the Fijian filled Malaysian side but will be aiming at correcting their flaws and earning an opportunity to be able to play in the top division. The Tuskers will be coached by Fijian Fereti Verbula who is entrusted with the task of getting them ready for the Asian challenge. Verbula was the man in charge of the Sri Lanka Army Rugby team during the past two seasons and is exposed to the local brand of rugby and will look to get the best out of the current crop and believes that the squad is up for the challenge.
Speaking to ThePapare.com the newly appointed National skipper, Roshan Weerarathne had this to say, “I am humbled and honored to be appointed as the captain of the National 1st XV team. It’s a big responsibility but it was dream for of mine to lead Sri Lanka XV’s team from my childhood days. We have a really talented young squad and we are focused on the job we have at hand. It will be the final tournament for Fazil (Marija) and I consider it a privilege to be captaining a national side that features a player of such class and caliber. Having played with him almost all my career I can’t think of a better retirement gift to him from the national XV’s than giving him a winner’s farewell”
Roshan will not have the services of his sibling Gayan Weerarathne, who is not attending practice due to illness. This will be the first time the duo will not be seen in national colors together since Roshan made his International debut in 2010. The current squad of 31 players is expected to be curtailed to the 25 man touring squad on the Friday 5th May and will take wing to Malaysia next week.