Royal has fight on their hands to defend title

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Schools’ rugby is back in the island after a lapse of two years; indeed, very happy news for the entire rugby and sporting fraternity. Only two games were completed in the 2020 league before Covid happened, and the rest is history. Training, having the right mindset and getting back to the field was indeed a huge challenge, but all the boys and the coaching staff were equally excited to handle the oval shaped ball and play some hard rugby in the right spirit.

Royal have won the league title three years in row (2017, 2018, 2019), and their aim is to make it four this year.

At the end of the third week, Royal had played three games. Won against St. Anthony’s 22–12, a commanding win over Kingswood 53–00; before going down to Bradby rivals Trinity 20-21.

Speaking to Ceylon Today, the head coach of the Reid Avenue team Dushanth Lewke stated that winning the Bradby is the main goal, and he is happy with how the young team has performed so far. “In terms of the team, we have a very young and new team, and we do not have any coloursmen. We are a very inexperienced side who just want to play quality and clean rugby. Winning the Bradby is our main goal, and also to give our best in the league.”

When asked about the key players, Lewke, a former national team captain, stated that they have a very average and balanced team. “I think we do have a balanced team. The key will be to try and play together; the forwards and the backs need to have good chemistry. I do not see one department being stronger than the other. It all depends on the day and on the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition. We have identified a few top players whose performances are very important to the success of the team. Rahil Wijesekara and Randul Bandara are leading the forwards. Harsith Peiris, our captain, also plays a very vital role. Vice-captain Kaveen Saranga, who is leading the line, adds so much value to the team,” Lewke added further.

Royal, without any coloursmen and a lot of Under-18 players, will definitely be a force in the upcoming years.

First XV Rugby Pool

Props: Kavinash Srikanth, Thineth Gamage, Supun Gamlath, Afeef Akram, Shenal Adikaram and Abdurrahman Ajmal

Hookers: Danuja Samararathna and Yehan Weerasooriya

Locks: Abdullah Yoosuf and Rahil Wijesekara

Flankers: Randul Bandara and Buwaneka Senanayake

No.8: Navin Perera

Scrum Half: Hasnaka Higgoda

Fly half: Thivain Perera

Centres: Thevinu Saparamadu and
Kaveen Sasanga (v.cap)

Wingers: Nabeel Yahiya and Pasindu Heshan

Full back: Harsith Peiris (cap) and Idris Farouk

Reserves:Yovindu Ethulgala, Thanvir Hassen, Binuda Malalagama, Bimsara Peiris, Duljaya Gamanayake, Vibodha Dabare, Philip Calyaneratne, Menukha Perera, Amika Samarasinghe, Dulan Kularathne, Gesandu Wijewardana, Idrak Farouk

Head Coach – Dushanth Lewke

Asst. Coach – Radhika Hettiarachchi

Manager- Thomas Paul

MIC- Aruna Shantha

Picture Courtesy (thepapare.com)

By Vimukthi Adithya