By Harsha Amarasinghe
CH and FC received a major boost with Captain Yoshitha Rajapaksa returning to the squad ahead of their crucial Dialog Inter-Club League Rugby Tournament second-round clash against the reigning champions Kandy Sports Club at the Racecourse Grounds in Reid Avenue tomorrow (2).
Rajapaksa who was in the middle of a fine individual season had to be rested for several weeks following an injury, but the CH and FC management has lined-up the flanker to join Sudharshana Muthuthanthri and Niwanka Prasad in the third row.
CH and FC have stuck to their trusted front three of Sathya Ranatunga, Prasath Madushanka and Jason Melder along with the second rows Sajith Saranga and Matheesha Sarathchandra.
Centre Hirantha Perera who has rediscovered his form keeps his place in the team along with Adam Gauder while Nishon Perera who was used as a wing three quarter in the last match has been dropped paving room for youngster Naveen Henakankanamage.
CH and FC are on a six-game winning streak and they have got better as the season progressed while it has been the other way around for Kandy SC although they did return to form against Navy SC last week with a truly mesmerising display in Nittawela.
Full back Thilina Wijesinghe who set a record scoring the highest number of points in a single game has slowly become such a key component of the Kandy SC side.
The visitors however, are expected to be without their talisman Danushka Ranjan. Kandy SC management though refused to comment on his availability, Daily Mirror understands that the former Havelock SC player may well be forced to sit this game out due to an ankle injury which he has been carrying for the last couple of weeks.
Kandy SC management however, did reveal that they are hoping to play Jason Dissanayake as number eight with Shehan Pathirana and Tharindu Chathuranga flanking him.
Wing three quarter Anurudda Wilwara has also found a place in the starting line-up and with Ranjan looks very likely to miss this game Vishwamithra Jayasinghe should be an obvious choice for number 11.
Before the start of this season CH and FC stated that they are determined to end Kandy SC’s winning streak which has already been done though by Army, but this game presents them a great opportunity to get one over their bitter rivals.
CH and FC: Sathya Ranatunga, Prasath Madushanka, Jason Melder, Sajith Saranga, Matheesha Sarathchandra, Sudharshana Muthuthanthri, Yoshitha Rajapaksa (Captain), Niwanka Prasad, Sudam Parinda and Rohitha Rajapaksa, Anurada Herath, Adam Gauder, Hirantha Perera, Naveen Henakankanamage, Samuel Maduwantha.
Kandy SC: Ashan Darling, Uchitha Jayasooriya, Yakoob Ali, Suhiru Anthony, Heshan Kalhara, Tharindu Chathuranga, Jason Dissanayake, Roshan Weeraratne and Nigel Ratwatte, Vishwamithra Jayasinghe, Richard Dharmapala (Captain), Lavanga Perera, Anurudda Wilwara, Thilina Wijesinghe.