Sri Lanka Rugby will make their trip to Korea this evening for the Olympic regional qualifier for the Asia region that will take place in the 23rd and 24th of November for a spot in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Rugby sevens was introduced in the 2016 Rio Olympics and since then it has been an integral part of the sport with the team focusing on the all-important sporting event held every four years.
A total of 12 teams make the games with the top 4 teams in the World Rugby rankings making an automatic qualification. Another 6 slots open up for the regional qualifiers for Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and South Africa.
While hosts Japan take the other qualification spot, the other spot is for the Repechage tournament that takes place nearing the tournament.
Sri Lanka who has been training from the conclusion of the Asia Sevens Series will be fielding a new side ahead of the Olympic qualifier in the absence of their key players.
Read more: Sri Lanka Rugby eye Tokyo 2020 Olympics
The likes of captain Danush Dayan, Kevin Dixon, Reeza Raffaideen and Jason Dissanayake will return to the squad while the Tuskers will have to rely on the newcomers Chathura Seneviratne & Sudaraka Dikkumbura for the rest.
Sri Lanka have also brought in fresh faces to the side with former Josephian and Havelock SC represent Vimukthi Rahul and former Isipathana cap Ravindu Anjula set to feature in the national jersey.
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Both these players were part of the Singapore tour where the provisional team participated in the Singapore Cricket Club sevens.
The Tuskers will also have Buddhima Piyarathane who returns to the squad in terms of pace.
New Zealand national Matt Lee will continue in the position of coach with Mushtaq Jiffrey as assistant coach for the tour. Rohan Chinthaka will be the team’s manager.
Last time when Sri Lanka took part in the Olympic qualifier in 2015 ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics, they finished 4th behind Japan, Hong Kong and Korea.
Read more: Olympic spot on offer for the Tuskers
Sri Lanka squad for the Olympic qualifier – Danush Dayan (Capt), Kevin Dixon, Reeza Raffaideen, Buddhima Piyarathane, Chathura Seneviratne, Iroshan Silva, Sachith Silva, Jason Dissanayake, Ravindu Anjula, Vimukthi Rahula, Sudaraka Dikkumbura & Chathura Seneviratne