The former Sri Lanka national sevens and fifteens captain Fazil Marija has not been included in the final training squad ahead of the Asia Sevens Series as he has opted to sit this one out due to personal commitments.
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The shortlisted squad does not carry the name of the veteran campaigner as the Tuskers commenced training ahead of the Asia Sevens Series 1st leg that is scheduled to be held in Hong Kong.
Speaking to ThePapare.com, the 32-year-old added that it is a time that he needs to spend with his family and will not be turning out in the Sri Lanka colours this year when the Asia Sevens Series comes down to Colombo in the third and final leg in October.
Marija has been an influential player on the sevens circuit over the years, as a player as well as a captain for the Tuskers. Even after giving up the reigns of captaincy in 2015, Marija has continued to be a livewire in the team as it was evident when the team toured Hong Kong for the World Series qualifiers.
However, Marija speaks confidently of his future.
“I will return to play the club season this year, that will be in November this year for Kandy Sports Club and I hope to take the momentum forward”
The former Kingswoodian, however, announced that he would be retiring from the fifteens format shortly after the Asia Rugby Division I Championship held in Malaysia in May this year and he believes that he could still make it to the sevens jersey in the next season.
The Sri Lankan rugby fraternity will be disappointed as they might not get the opportunity to witness Fazil Marija in action in the sevens jersey as Sri Lanka might not play host to the Asia Sevens series next year.
Asia Rugby makes it a point to switch the venues of the three-legged Asia Sevens Series every three years and the Race Course grounds will host its third and final sevens series for a while this coming October.
Experienced campaigner Anuruddha Wilwara also will be missed in the Tuskers lineup this sevens series sidelined due to injury.
Sri Lanka will fly to Hong Kong in a fortnight for the 1st leg of the Asia Sevens series that is set to kick off on the 1st.