Lankans brimming with confidence
Once again the Sri Lanka rugby team has geared up to contest in the International Rugby Board (IRB) Hong Kong Sevens tournament to be held from March 28 to 30.
The players are hard at training under new Sevens coach in New Zealander, Rawiri Mako and are scheduled to leave for Hong Kong on March 25.
Sri Lanka has made just one impression in the 30-year old history of the championships by winning the Bowl trophy in 1984 under Hisham Abdeen.
Two years ago Sri Lanka showed some improvement by beating the USA team after lapse of ten years and coach Rawiri Mako told The Sunday Times that expectations are running high in the team this year too.
“I am happy with player’s commitment and I am very pleased at the way the boys have trained”, said coach Mako.
According to Mako the team has practiced hard training three times a day and the players are fit and strong.
Sri Lanka has been grouped with defending Hong Kong 7s champions Samoa, England and Canada. Sri Lanka are going to be under sever pressure specially against big made players. However coach Rawiri Mako said the Sri Lanka players are in excellent condition and their ball could be advantageous whilst playing against strong and experienced contenders.
He also said all these big made teams are having plenty of experience as they have taken part in contests of this nature not only in the Hong Kong Sevens, but Sri Lanka is determined to make an impression in Hong Kong this time.
Sri Lanka’s back division comprises a virtual Kandy SC line in skipper Pradeep Liyanage, Fazil Marija and Sanjeewa Jayasinghe adding muscle to a strong back division.
Sri Lanka will play against the strong Samoans on March 28 and will meet England and Canada on the following day. The winner of the HK sevens will receive US$ 150,000.
Touring squad subject to Ministry approval are: Radhika Hettiarachchi, Imran Bisthamin, Saliya Kumara, Pradeep Liyanage (captain), Sanjeewa Jayasinghe and Fazil Marijan (Kandy), Ashaen Karthelis, Ashan de Costa ,Amjad Buksh (CR and FC), Lakala Perera (CH), Wasim Thajudeen and Kapila Knowlton (Army)