Mercurial Sooriyabandara to lead new-look Sri Lanka

4 changes for the Asia Sevens Series 2018


The Lankan sevens sensation Srinath Sooriyabandara will lead a revamped Sri Lanka national sevens team for the 1st leg of the Asia Sevens series scheduled to kick-off at the Hong Kong Football Club on the 14th of September.

The 29-year-old Sooriyabandara will lead the Lankan side for the first time in his 9- year long sevens career and the twelve-member team will comprise of both experience and freshers.  The regular skipper Sudarshana Muthuthanthri is set to miss the 1st leg of the sevens series due to a fractured wrist that he sustained at the Asian Games while playmaker Danushka Ranjan also has been ruled out due to his hamstring injury.

Read More: New captain for Sri Lanka Rugby?

Sri Lanka will not see the likes of Jason Dissanayake in the national colours in the upcoming series while the CR & FC flyhalf Tarinda Ratwatte has withdrawn from the tournament due to career commitments.

Also read: 7 things we know after the Asian games rugby sevens

Reyhan Silva will retain his position in the front row and is expected to step up in the role

The national selectors have thus called up the likes of Kevin Dixon and Naveen Henakankanamage back into the ranks for the 1st leg. Dixon last played for Sri Lanka last year in the Asia Sevens Series while Naveen Henakankanamage last toured in the senior colours for the Commonwealth Games in March.

The selectors have also brought back the services of Adeesha Weeratunge in the absence of Muthuthanthri for the front line. Weeratunge made his debut at the Commonwealth games.

Following his success story at the Asia Under 20 Sevens series, the 20-year-old Dinuk Amerasinghe has been handed over his senior debut. The former Antonian captain was the highlight in the Tuskers Under 20 campaign despite Sri Lanka finishing 3rd overall.

Experienced campaigners Kavindu Perera, Danush Dayan and Gayan Weeraratne will return to the squad as they prepare to take flight to Hong Kong.

The touring team is as follows:

Srinath Sooriyabandara (C) (Kandy SC), Gayan Weeraratne (Kandy SC), Danush Dayan (Kandy SC), Kavindu Perera (CR & FC), Naveen Henakankanamage (CH & FC), Sudam Sooriyarachchi (CH & FC), Reeza Raffaideen ( CR & FC), Kevin Dixon (CR & FC), Buddhima Piyarathane (Navy), Adeesha Weerathunge (Navy), Reyhan Silva (CR & FC), Dinuk Amerasinghe (Havelock SC)