Summa Rugby – Embracing Resilience, Talent, and Ambition in 2024

Dialog Schools Rugby League 2024

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Let’s take a closer look at the Sri Sumangala College, Kandy Rugby team that will be competing in the Dialog Schools Rugby League 2024.

History

Sri Sumangala College, formerly known as St. Paul’s, has a short history in Rugby, dating back to its first XV Rugby team formed in 1990. The school, originally inaugurated in 1879 and the third oldest boys’ school in Kandy, had to relocate and change its name to Sri Sumangala in 1991 due to the original land being reclaimed by UNESCO.

The inaugural Rugby team of 1990 was led by Captain Late Lieutenant Chinthaka Obeysekera and Vice-Captain Kapila Kahapola. They competed in the Division B segment, coached by Nihal Ananda, an ex-player for Vidyartha, Kandy SC and the national team. The Master In-Charge was the Late Mr. Alugolla.

Sri Sumangala made significant strides in Rugby, achieving promotion to the top tier in 1997. Their debut game in the top division occurred in 1998 under the captaincy of Sidath Chandratne, who later played for CR & FC. The school has produced notable players, including TAP Silva (Ex-SL Army, CR&FC, and Sri Lanka Full Back) and Lal Wijesiri (Ex-Navy, Kandy SC, and Sri Lanka Wing Three).

Despite early successes, Sri Sumangala faced challenges in maintaining their top division status. By 2014, they had slipped to the C Division. The formation of SUMMA Rugby Integration by Kapila Kahapola marked the beginning of a revival. This initiative helped the team regain their footing and eventually achieve promotion back to the top division in 2023.

Current Outfit

Led by Flanker Dinidu Theekshana, the squad faces the significant challenge of competing with a largely new and inexperienced lineup, as only eight players remain from the previous season’s promotion achieving team. Despite this, the current outfit is filled with talented and skillful players who are eager to prove themselves.

Players to Watch Out For

This season, key players to watch from the Sri Sumangala outfit include Captain Dinidu Theekshana, who leads the team from the flanker position. He is supported by the two Vice-Captains – Vishwa Gamage, a versatile center/wing three-quarter, and Adhithya Rathnyaka, who also plays as a center. Adding strength to the forward pack are Number 8 Kevin Kaushalya and Prop Forward Yasiru Thiwanka, both of whom can be formidable on their day. These players will play a crucial role as Sumangala navigates the challenges of the top division.

Coaches

Experienced coach Roshan Rathnayaka continues to lead the team this year after a successful previous season that saw Sri Sumangala promoted to the top division. Rathnayaka brings a wealth of knowledge and strategic insight, essential for navigating the challenges of the top tier. He is ably supported by Idunil Wickramasingha, who serves as the Forwards Coach and trainer, focusing on enhancing the physicality and tactical acumen of the forwards. Additionally, Manoj Wijeythunga, the Backs Coach, is instrumental in developing the agility and coordination of the backs, ensuring a well-rounded team ready to compete at the highest level.

Expectations for the Season

The expectations for the upcoming season are high, both from the coaching staff and the supporters. The primary objective is to remain in the top division, a challenging yet achievable goal given the team’s talent and determination.

Coach Roshan Rathnayaka and his team have laid out a strategic plan focused on long-term development, aiming to build a robust and competitive Rugby program. Fans are hopeful and excited to see the team perform, with a belief that Sri Sumangala can pull off some significant upsets. The season is seen not only as a test of the team’s capabilities but also as a celebration of their return to the top division, marking a new chapter in the school’s Rugby legacy.

Full Squad

 

Forwards – Dinidu Theekshana (Captain), Yasiru Thiwanka, Kevin Kaushalya, Rishmina Dilshan, Ravindu Dilshan, Nimsara Sithija, Mohommed Akram, Dilshan Rajaguru, Temash Geeshan, Ashan De Silva, Shashika Sithum, Tharusha Theekshana, Adhitha Vishwa, Sahan Malinda, Janith Sandeepa, Anuhas Jayasooriya, Resanda Sahas, Tharusha Dilshan, Roshen Jayanz, Shaluka Abhishek, Achila Shaminda, Pasindu Bimsara, Pawan Sathsara, Hasitha Maduranga, Masitha Iduwara, Pasindu Ishara, Supun Akalanka, Lakindu Denuwan

 

Backs- Adithya Rathnayake (Vice Captain), Vishwa Gamage (Vice Captain), Ifthy Hameed, Sachin Sansanthuka, Maleesha Dewshan, Pasindu Bimsara, Pawan Sathsara, Ramitha Kavinda, Pabasara Nirmal, Pasindu Ishara, Akalanka Rupasinghe, Naveeja Narankotuwa, Sajana Themiya, Hirumal Madusanka, Adhil Nazar, Avishka Pasindu

Fixtures

  • Vs Isipathana College – 15thJune at Havelock Park
  • Vs Dharmaraja Colege – 23rdJune at Bogamabara Stadium
  • Vs Trinity College – 30thJune at Bogambara Stadium
  • Vs St. Anthony’s College – 7thJuly at Bogambara Stadium
  • Vs Science College – 13thJuly at Air Force Grounds
  • Vs S. Thomas’ College- 20thJuly at S. Thomas’ Grounds
  • Vs D. S. Senanayake College – 27thJuly at Havelock Park