The Sunday Leader

Army Determined To Put Up A Good Show This Season

  • Club Rugby Preview

By Milinda Gunawardena

This week we continue our preview of the teams participating in the forthcoming club rugby season with a look at the Army rugby team.
Army SC

The Army SC has been engaged in vigorous training over the past few months with the club season to be kicked off in a mere few weeks. Army SC started training at unit level and the inter regiment rugby tournament came to an end in the last week of March when the Army General Service corps bagged the title.
However currently all units have come together to achieve one goal in the forthcoming club rugby season and the determined and confident mix of youth and experience have been training at the new venue, the “Diyagama sports complex”.
Army SC this time round is carefully nurtured by their coach Brigadier Sunil Ranasinghe and the technical coordinator Colonel Saliya Udugama. These two men are well supported by the chairman of Army rugby Brigadier Rohana Bandara and the physical trainer Sergeant Sunimal.
Army SC will count on their youngsters this season as only two players have been recruited from outside the Army. Some of the promising youngsters for the Army SC are Gayan, Akram, Rifaz, Rizwy, Private Chathuranga, Danushka, Jansz, Victor, Hapugaskumbura and Senanayake. Amongst the seniors Nushal Meepage, Hadapangoda, last years skipper Susantha, Silva, Wickramasinghe, Asanka Perera, Ratnayake and veteran full back Kapila Knowlton.
The skipper for this year will be SL player centre three quarter Asanka Perera This season Army will look to play a rather tactical game using their speed, strength and stamina to good effect. Even though Army lost a few games last season they were by small margins which shows the competitive nature of the Army SC and only a few mistakes would have cost them those games last season. A well organized unit this season will look for a better performance to revisit the glory days of Army Rugby. Army SC have produced some great sportsmen over the years with likes of Berty Dias, Daya Ratnayake, John Senaweera, Denzil kobbekaduwa, A N P Fernando, Bashir Mauser, K P Weerasinghe, Doctor Thiagaraja, T A Silva , Harin Malwatte are some of the players who contributed greatly towards Army Rugby.
Army were joint champs of the Clifford Cup in 1973 under S P De Silva, They shared the trophy with police as the game ended at 9 all.And for the first time in the history of Army Rugby they won the Clifford cup in the year 1975 under the leadership of Colonel Saliya Udugama. In 1979 and 1981 Army won the President’s Trophy under the Captaincy of Daya Ratnayake and John Senaweera. The pioneer figure that introduced the game to the Army was Brigadier Attygalle, Genrel Attygalla, Gen Nalin Seneviratne and Gen Denis Hapugalla. With such rich history in the oval shaped ball game Army SC will be go all out to make the 2011 Club Rugby Season a memorable one.

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