The Dialog Schools Rugby League 2023 is now in full flow. Recently, we brought you the details of the Segment 1A coaches. Here’s a look at the Segment 1B coaches.
Royal College – Dushanth Lewke
Dushanth Lewke, a talented and accomplished young rugby coach, has established himself as one of the best in the field. His recent victory in leading CR&FC to win the Clifford Cup has brought great honour to his club, and now he sets his sights on reclaiming the league title for Reid Avenue.
Lewke’s rugby journey began at Royal College, where he started playing for the under-13 team and eventually became a crucial part of the unbeatable Royal College team of 2002.
In 2013, Lewke transitioned into coaching and took on the role of overall Assistant Coach and Forwards Coach for the Royal College Rugby under-19 team. He excelled in this position until 2017 when he was promoted to the Head Coach position for Royal Rugby. Under his leadership, the team achieved a remarkable hat-trick of league titles. Unfortunately, their momentum was halted by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which brought rugby to a standstill.
Trinity College – Fazil Marija
Fazil Marija, the former national player, captain of Kandy SC and Kingswood, and the current Head Coach of Kandy SC, was appointed as the Head Coach of Trinity College’s 1st XV Rugby team for three years.
Marija is a well-known figure in the rugby community of the country and has achieved remarkable success in both the 15s and 7s formats, representing both his club and the national team with great distinction.
After retiring from playing after the 2017/18 club rugby season, Marija swiftly transitioned into coaching at Kandy Sports Club. Since then, he has excelled in his coaching role, leading the champion team to consecutive league titles.
Vidyartha College – Buddhika Abeysinghe
Buddhika Abeysinghe, an alumnus of Vidyartha College who previously captained their rugby team in 2007, has taken up the role as their head coach. During his playing days, Abeysinghe represented Kandy SC, CR&FC, and Air Force. In his coaching career, he has focused on nurturing the forward players of Trinity, overseeing the development of their Under 12, Under 14, and Under 19 teams.
Assisting Abeysinghe will be Anush Kolonne, who himself played for Vidyartha in 1997 and later joined Sri Lanka Navy SC. Kolonne brings his experience and expertise to the coaching staff, adding value to the Vidyartha College rugby program.
Amila Chathuranga is no stranger to the Science College. Having coached the First XV team during the early 2010’s Chathuranga returned to the role last year. Science had some decent performances last year which justified his position as the Head Coach and the school administration has placed their faith in him to carry the team to greater heights this year.
Dharmaraja College – Dinesh Gamage
Dinesh Gamage, a former student of Kingswood College, has been appointed as the Head Coach of the Dharmaraja College rugby team. Gamage himself played for Kingswood College back in 2005 before embarking on a coaching career. He has previously coached the junior teams at S. Thomas College, Kingswood, and the senior team at Sri Sumangala. Now, he takes charge of the Rajans Under 19 team, bringing his expertise to guide and develop the players.
Assisting Gamage as the forwards’ coach will be Achala Perera, a former player of CH and FC, Kandy SC, and the national team. Perera’s experience and knowledge will contribute significantly to the team’s progress.
St. Peter’s College – Sanath Martis
Sanath Martis needs no introduction. Having achieved greatness with St Peter’s College and more recently with Royal College, he has established himself as one of the best, if not the best coaches in the school rugby circuit.
However, after a dismal season with St Peter’s College last year, Coach Martis will be hungry for success this season. Peterites have already tasted silverware in the sevens format this year, but Coach Martis will be determined to bring back the glory days to Bamabalapitiya with a league title.
Zahira College – Anuranga Walpola
Having made his mark as a notable schoolboy rugby player at Isipathana College, Anuranga Walpola emerged as a prominent figure in the sport. Under his leadership in 2002, he captained the senior college team to victory, securing all three major school titles in Sri Lanka. Following his successful school career, he seamlessly transitioned to club rugby, earning a spot in the esteemed Colombo-based team, CR&FC.
In 2006, he made a move to Kandy Sports Club, the country’s most successful rugby club, furthering his rugby journey. Additionally, he served as the assistant coach of Isipathana College, playing a significant role in guiding and mentoring the team. In 2014, he also took on the position of assistant coach for the Sri Lanka U-20 team, showcasing his coaching abilities at the national level.