Saliya moves from Welisara to Havelock Park

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School’s Rugby double winning Head Coach of Isipathana College in the concluded season, former national women’s 7s head coach, Saliya Kumara, has taken over the helm of Havelocks Sports Club as the Head Coach of the side for the upcoming season.

Saliya enjoyed a dream debut season in 2022 as a Head coach where he managed to win both the league and the knockout for Isipathana College. He then shouldered the responsibility of transforming an underperforming sailor’s outfit which barely managed to qualify for the super round into an outfit that looked threatening in the latter part of the league ending the season as knockout runners-up.

No stranger to the Park Club, former national 7s and XV a side cap started off his club rugby career at the park club in 2003 going on to represent pink shirts from 2003 to 2005.

Speaking to ThePapare.com on why he decided to make the switch, Saliya explained that ‘I enjoyed the challenge at Navy SC, especially with the set of players at the club, unlike most other clubs, Navy SC has the luxury of an experienced squad where some of their players have played together for 4 to 5 years, One of the main deciding factors was the logistical convince of coaching Isipathana and Havelocks which are literally right next to each other’.

After a great season where they fiercely competed for the league title in 2021, Havelocks SC had a mediocre finish to their campaign last season finishing 4th in the league while they failed to qualify for the knockout finals. The New coach has lofty ambitions for the club and wants to return them to the helm, ‘Havelocks is a proud rugby playing club with great history and tradition I believe if all of us at the club work hard as one club we will be able to return Havelocks to the top two spots of the league table’.

Saliya Kumara has risen to fame in his short tenure as a coach for his strong player management capabilities and the attractive brand of rugby his teams play. It will be exciting to see how he takes on the challenge at Havelock Park in the upcoming season.

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