Royal’s powerhouse Janidu Dilshan and the concluded School leagues highest try scorer – the Josephian ‘try machine’, Gamunu Chethiya, have been included in the Sri Lanka National Training Squad.
The duo were part of the Sri Lanka U20 Sevens team that took part in the Asia U20 Sevens Championship last month, where they continued their dominant individual performances after the School’s league, which led the selectors to call up the two for National training.
Janidu Dilshan was a key player in the league winning Royal team as his presence in that midfield next to his inside Centre, Thulaib Hassen, was felt quite often than not on many occasions.
Standing at 5ft and 9’ inches tall, Dilshan ran, defended and read the game like a real pro. He created many opportunities for his team and also did the honors of finishing what he started at numerous instances. Dilshan played a pivotal role in the back line with his kicking, receiving and sweeping.
After making his debut appearance for Royal in 2016, the young powerhouse has come a long way. His first experience under the lime light was after the 2016 Bradby, when he scored a try within the first 30 seconds of the game, in real style. There on, Dilshan went on to don the Junior Tuskers jersey, twice. In his first national stint as a junior tusker, his team managed to win a championship. He was a part of the U18 National squad that won the 2016 U18 Asia Rugby Sevens Championship in Chinese Taipei. Although there were high hopes for the U20 Junior Tuskers to return home with the championship this year, Dilshan and the team missed out, making his second stint not much of a successful one.
Gamunu Chethiya on the other hand has had a roller coaster of a school career. After first starting for St. Joseph’s in 2015, the pacey three quarter had a lot of homework to do, since speed was his only arsenal. Chethiya wasn’t recognized until his performance in the 2016 Sri Lanka Super Sevens Rugby tournament. Later in 2016 Chethiya got the opportunity to represent the U18 Sri Lanka team for the tour to Taiwan, but wasn’t given much game time.
Fast forward to 2017, Chethiya had made a name for himself within the rugby fraternity. He was given the privilege of leading the 2017 U18 team at the Junior Commonwealth Games held in Bahamas and he did not disappoint anybody. His team displayed great rugby against some big teams and were quite successful from a local rugby fan’s point of view.
Later that year he represented the Junior Tuskers at the Junior ASIAD 2017 but unfortunately was forced out after facing an injury. However, after recovering fast, the now experienced young three quarter was a player that other teams watched out for. He reached his peak in the concluded school’s league after ending up as the highest try scorer with a total of 11 tries under his name.
සාන්ත ජෝසප් විද්යාලයේ “Try Machine” එක අපිට කියපු දේ! #BootsOff
He was an obvious pick for the U20 National Sevens team and once again, did not disappoint with his individual brilliance. Considering his performance in the Mercantile Sevens and the U20 Asian Sevens Championship, the selectors have called him up for National Training alongside the big boys.
Overall it’s a well-deserved call for these two youngsters since they’ve been standouts wherever they played. And to be training with the national players right after playing for school is a great achievement. These two lads definitely have something to be proud of!