Defending champions Royal College will host St. Anthony’s Katugastota at the Royal Sports Complex today (24).
Kick-off is scheduled at 4.15 p.m.
Royal will go all out to bag the Schools’ League for a record 4 years in tandem. At present Isipathana hold the record by winning three years in a row, which Royal have equalized. Isipathana’s winning streak was from 1992 to 1994.
Antonians will be led by Jeyan Amarasinghe with Maliksha Perera being his deputy. The outfit is coached by Sumedha Malawena, the former Vidyartha, Navy SC and National XV’s player.
Royal have appointed Harshith Peris as Captain, who will be supported by his deputy Kaveen Saranga. They are coached by Dushantha Lewke who is assisted by Radhika Hettiarachchi.
In another game today, Isipathana will battle it out with Science College at Havelock Park.
Isipathana is led by Dahan Wickremarachchi with Praveen Stefan as his deputy. They are coached by one of the best youngsters in the field Saliya Kumara. He is also the national Women’s coach for the Commonwealth Games which will take place in Birmingham. Dhanushka Botheju will be the assistant coach of the Green Shirts this season.
Meanwhile little-known Science College could spring a few surprises this season. They are coached by Amila Chathuranga. Science is led by Hansaka Lakshan.
for Canon de Saram Shield (25 June)
Kandy will have only one game in the first week, where the traditional encounter between S. Thomas’ Mt. Lavinia and Trinity will be played at the Pallekelle Rugby Stadium hosted by Trinity. This encounter is played for the Canon de Saram Shield, which the Thomians won in 2021 when the two teams last played at Havelock Park. Both schools will be battling it out after a lapse of 3 months, which the Mount Lavinia outfit won 17/14.
Trinity is led by Lithmal Moragoda and have in their ranks some top-class players in their outfit like Loshika Wijewkoon, Kaveesha Edema and Attaab Manzil. They are coached by former Trinity ‘Lion’, Havies and National player Kavinda Jayasena who will be assisted by Thushitha de Silva.
Speaking to CT, Trinity Head Coach Kavinda Jayasena said: “We are very fortunate to play 3 games in the 2021 school season. This is purely with the support we received from the College authorities and Rugby Scrummage. We are practicing very hard and the boys are doing well. we want to end the season on a high note and will be bringing back our usual pattern of rugby this season.”
Thomians are led by Chariya Kurukulasuriya with Shenal Fernando, Viyan de Silva and Jadena Koch as the seniors in their outfit. They are coached by the former Isipathana, National player and Sri Lanka Air Force Head Coach Shamly Nawas.
Speaking to CT, Shamly Nawas said: “We had a late start for training with local Ordinary Level examinations and other exams getting in the way during the pre-season. But the lads showed lot of commitment and motivation to play the game they love so much from childhood onwards. I am very happy to see we are clicking as one unit within a very short span of time. Chariya will lead from the front with a few seniors guiding them this season. We are sticking to a very basic game plan and expecting few freshers to deliver the goods. Overall, it’s a development year for the Thomians in 2022”.
Wesley host Vidyartha at Longdon Place (25 June)
Wesley play host to Vidyartha at CR & FC grounds. Full back Tharusha Jayaweera leads a formidable Wesley outfit this year. Wesley, the dark horse of the tournament, have 11 seniors in their ranks and could be the surprise package this season.
They are coached by two former National Sevens players. Shehan Dias handles the forwards and Saliya Handapangoda the backs.
Vidyartha is led by Arosha Ratnayake, while Nalin Wijesinghe leads the coaching unit.
Peter’s take on Rajans in Bambalapitiya (25 June)
Rajans have taken the unusual step of having co-captains this year – Thenuka Wickremasinghe and Sawumya Wijesiri, with Kavindu de Costa as Head Coach.
Master of the trade Sanath Martis will overlook the Peterite rugby outfit for yet another season. They are led by centre Sudesh Jayawickrama.
By Special Correspondent