Sri Lanka Rugby has announced a 39-man squad for the upcoming tour of Malaysia which will be followed by the Asian Rugby Championship to be held in Chinese Taipei at the end May this year.
The 39-member squad was finalized following the selection game that was held between the two combined club teams of Outstation Origins and Colombo Origins held earlier this week. The game was also played in tribute to Rugby Legend Chandrishan Perera.
The team will consist of a blend of youth and experience, with senior campaigner Roshan Weeraratne making a return to captaincy duties after a long lay-off. The league winning Kandy Sports Club captain will make his comeback in national colors at a major tournament for the 1st time since the 2013 Triangular Series.
Senior campaigners who represented Sri Lanka previously, Suddharshana Muthuthanthri, Anuradha Herath, Thilina Wijesinghe and Prasad Madusanka have made the first cut, however, the absence of Rizah Mubarak, Dhanushka Ranjan, Gayan Weerarathne, Shehan Pathirana and Dushmantha Priyadarshana will create a huge void in the squad.
Sri Lanka Seven’s superstars Kavindu Perera, Buddhima Piyarathne, Reeza Rafaideen and Kevin Dixon have also been included in the squad, adding some extra flare.
The selectors have opted for a squad comprising more youth than experience, which will no doubt be an investment for the future. Players like Dinuk Amerasinghe, Mohommed Shabeer, Thilina Bandara, Samuel Maduwantha, Sachith Silva and Azmeer Fajudeen will also battle it out to make the final cut.
With only 24 jerseys to be won, head coach Matt Lee is confident that he can pick the best team prepped up for the challenge in the coming two weeks. The squad will initially be skimmed to 30 members and later a 26 player squad will be shortlisted.
Roshan Weeraratna (Captain), Yakoob Ali, Uchitha Jayasuriya, Mohamed Shabeer, Suhiru Anthony, Tharindu Chathuranga, Thilina Wijesinghe
Faiz Abdullah, Azmeer Fajudeen, Umesh Madushan, Lasindu Ishan, Mithun Hapugoda, Sandesh Jayawickrama, Dinuk Amarasingha, Teekshana Dissanayake
CH & FC
Jason Melder, Sathya Ranatunga, Prasad Madushanka, Sajith Saranga, Nivanka Prasad, Sudarshana Muthuthanthri, Samuel Maduwantha, Anuradha Herath
CR & FC
Omalka Gunaratna, Rahul de Silva, Kavindu Perera, Kevin Dixon, Reza Rafaideen,
Kasun de Silva, Buddima Piyaratna, Mohamed Absal, Gihan Perera,
Air Force SC
Charles Praveen, Thilina Bandara, Nuwan Perera,
Prabath Kumara, Ashan Bandara, Sudhakara Dikkumbura