Dynamic scrum half Srinath Sooriyabandara of Kandy SC has been appointed National sevens rugby captain ahead of the Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham in July .
The National selectors yesterday shortlisted both the men’s and women’s national rugby sevens squads (20 players each) after trials were conducted at Longden Place.
Despite missing out on selection at last year’s Asia Rugby sevens, all Kandy players took part at the national trials this time around, where a number of senior players are back in the national squad after missing out on international assignments for the last two years due to COVID.
Anusha Attanayake was reappointed as women’s captain after she had to forego the captaincy at last year’s Asia Sevens in Dubai due to injury.
When contacted, National Selection Committee Chairman Ashoka Jayasena confirmed both appointments and said Sooriyabandara deserved to be the leader considering his experience.
Despite missing experienced players at last year’s Asia 7s tournament, this time the men’s pool comprises many seniors. “Participation in the Commonwealth Games is to gain experience for this year’s Asian Games to be held in China in September,” said Jayasena. He also said a few good players went abroad, and that was also a big loss to the team.
Attanayake has been given the honour of leading the National women’s rugby team in their first appearance at the Commonwealth Games.
By Asanka Gammanpila