Sri Lanka Women favourites in Borneo; Fresh-look Men’s team

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With a title to defend, the Sri Lanka national women’s sevens team took flight to Malaysia along with a fresh men’s outfit ahead of the Borneo Sevens that will kick off on the 16th of March 2018.

The Borneo Rugby Sevens is an annual invitational sevens tournament organized by the Eagles Rugby Club in Malaysia that features teams from all around the world. Tagged as the ‘Greenest Sevens in the World’, the Eagles ground in Sandakan, Malaysia will host the three-day sevens extravaganza.

Sri Lanka has been a regular participant in the tournament and last year was a successful year for the Women’s team with the ladies clinching the Cup championship to secure the first silverware in women’s rugby for the country.

Photo Album – Sri Lanka Women’s Sevens Team for Borneo 7’s 2018

The men’s team met their arch nemesis Hong Kong in the Cup quarterfinal last year, were defeated and later went on to become Plate runners-up, losing out to DBKL in the Plate final.

Sri Lanka Women champions in Borneo 7s

Stunning performance by Sri Lanka women’s rugby sevens…

The Sri Lanka women’s team was the best in the Women’s segment defeating Thailand in the finals

This year a total of 14 teams will compete in the Men’s tournament while 8 teams will make the Women’s draw for the three-day competition.

The Women’s team pose for the traditional photograph with skipper Randika in the middle

Preparations for the title retention began last September under coach Sudath Sampath and the team has seen tremendous development in the past few months and look confident ahead of the tournament.

“We have prepared better than last year” Sri Lanka Women’s skipper Randika Kumudumali, whose team will be the tournament favourites, added.

The team has seen a massive development in terms of strength and conditioning and with adequate prep time, the Lady Tuskers will be looking to make a good opening statement in the group stage on day one.

Skipper Muthuthanthri will look to utilize the experience he gained playing at Auckland Rugby at the national stage

Ahead of the long sevens season this year, a new look Sri Lanka men’s side will field in a young outfit in a bid to add squad depth in the sevens format. Fresh from his stint in Auckland, Sudarshana Muthuthanthri will give leadership to the side that will look to give exposure to emerging sevens players.

Read More: Muthuthanthri to lineup for Auckland Rugby

Sri Lanka Rugby have opted to rest the other senior campaigners since the players will have a long season ahead with the Tuskers required to get themselves ready for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia in April.

The men’s team will count on the experience of Danush Dayan and Kavindu Perera in the side while returning Kevin Dixon will be needed to play a leadership role in the back.

Photo Album – Sri Lanka Men’s Sevens Team for Borneo 7’s 2018

The two debutants this tour, Adeesha Weearathunga and Sithum Peiris will aid skipper Muthuthanthri in the forwards. Both Weerathunga and Peiris were impact players in their club jerseys and will look to put on a good show in their first tour.

Read More: Borneo 7s; Adeesha & Peiris set for national debut

Coach Peter Woods will be not concerned too much about the overall results of the tour but on the individual performances of the players. Borneo will act as a preparation tounament with Sri Lanka set to play in the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and later the Asia Sevens Series.

The Fixtures for Sri Lanka will be as follows:

16th March –
Sri Lanka Women v Sabah Sukma – 1.30 p.m. (SL time)
Sri Lanka Men v IRC – 4.30 p.m. (SL time)
17th March –
Sri Lanka Women v Eagles RFC Select – 6.30 a.m. (SL time)
Sri Lanka Women v Hong Kong – 10.30 a.m. (SL time)
Sri Lanka v Sabah Eagles – 1.30 p.m. (SL time)