The young ruggerites who hung up their school-boy boots have made their way into the big leagues as the Dialog Rugby League readies for kickoff this weekend.
The highest number of newbies feature in the Havelock Sports Club roster, amounting to a total of 8 new faces. CH and FC together with Kandy SC have recruited four players each while CR and FC has signed up 5 players. Air Force, Navy and Police has recruited just a single player for their new season.
Heshan Jansen, together with his teammate from Kingswood College, Lakshitha Ranaweera will compete for the scrum half and fly half positions and are likely to get some game time, coming off the bench. The other two new recruits are the Trinity College speedster Diluksha Dange and Josephian utility back Chathura Senevirathne.
Havelock SC has had the best luck with the school boys as they have managed to secure players like Dinuk Amerasinghe, who have represented the national junior team on previous occasions. Randy Silva, the Isipathana fly half who had an excellent school rugby season, Sachith Silva, the highest points scorer of the schools’ season, and Denister Goonethilake, the Wesley captain of the past season, are a few other quality players who will represent the Havies this season. Theekshana Dassanayake, Shamail Amif and Gihin Perera have also made their way into the squad.
Gaveen Perera and Inura Samarawickrama, from D S Senanayake are the two players Navy have recruited this season. They played the vital Flanker positions for their school and will probably get some playing minutes in their first season with Navy going in with a relatively new-look team.
CR & FC
CR & FC has managed to make the vital signing of Chamod Fernando for the full back position. Fernando is a Sri Lanka U20 sevens player and also played for the Mobitel Eagles in the Sri Lanka Super Sevens series after an excellent season at Isipathana. Number 8 Vageesha Weerasinghe and scrum half Harith Bandara, fellow Isipathanians will join him at CR. Shashika Ashan, Tharaka De Silva and Ashan Fernando are the other three players they have managed to pick up.
Air force SC
The Airmen have brought in Jehan Seelagama who played at Center for St. Anthony’s College Kandy. He is likely to make a start for the men in blue.
Police has managed to recruit Zayd Sinhawamsa, who had an excellent season for the newly promoted Zahira College, in the Schools’ Rugby League 2016/17. He was leading the try scorer and the points scorer for the first half of the School Rugby season before unfortunately having to miss out on many games after being diagnosed with dengue. He will feature for the Police Sports Club this season in the fly half position.
CH & FC
CH & FC has made some of the best signings this season managing to pick up the likes of Samuel Maduwantha, the highest points scorer in the season before last. He is a very reliable kicker with the ability to put over the very long drop goals and penalties. Twins Avishka and Awantha Lee are two more vital signings for CH. Avishka is a scrum half while Awantha represented Wesley College at both Fly half and Center positions. They will be joined by Wesley Flanker Imesh Aponso.
Keep it logged on to ThePapare.com as we bring you all the action from the Dialog Rugby League 2017/18 season where you can see these youngsters in action.