By Harsha Amarasinghe
Kandy SC’s new boy Ashan Darling is set to be sidelined for their Dialog Inter-Club League Rugby Tournament match against Police Sports Club at Police Park this evening.
The former Havelock man started off brightly last week featuring in the starting line-up when the defending champions beat CH and FC at the Race Course, but the Kandy SC management confirmed that the Sri Lanka prop will miss their second game due to a head injury.
Yakoob Ali who has had an outstanding last season is expected to take his place while the veteran hooker Damith Dissanayake has been dropped to the bench paving room young Uchitha Jayasooriya.
Dimitri Wijetunga is also likely to be dropped to the bench with Heshan Silva taking his place in second row while flanker Shehan Pathirana who was handed a four-match ban by the Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) over an apparent stamp on CH and FC number eight Chathura Dilshan, will be replaced by Tharindu Chathuranga.
The Kandy SC fans’ favourite Fazil Marija is likely to be rested for this fixture which could turn out to be a rather one-sided game, and this would provide an opportunity for Nigel Ratwatte to establish himself in the first XV.
Ratwatte of course came off the bench in the latter stages of the opening game, only to be sent to the sin-bin a couple of minutes later.
Rest of the Kandy backline remains same with Richard Dharmpala, Gayan Weeraratne, Danushka Ranjan and Anurudda Wilwara all look certain to be in the starting line-up.
Police on the other hand are set to hand league debut for former St. Peter’s College number eight Sajith Saram who has had a solid last season for the Bambalapitiya School.
An eye injury to Udaya Sanjaya will see Shanaka Harishchandra being brought into the first XV while senior duo Romesh Achirige and Udara Sooriyapperuma will retain their place in the second row.
Police were beaten 0-36 by Havelock Sport Club last week and now they are facing a host of superstars from Kandy SC. This could prove to be another long evening for the Cops.
CR host Navy
CR and FC will host Navy Sports Club in another game at Longden Place this evening. Both the teams managed fairly unconvincing victories last week against Air Force SC and Army SC respectively.
However, they would look to put a much better show in what expected to be a thriller.
Kandy XV: Yakoob Ali, Uchitha Jayasooriya, Ganuka Dissanayake, Suhiru Anthony, Heshan Silva, Jason Dissanayake, Tharindu Chathuranga, Buwaneka Udangamuwa, Srinath Sooriyabandara and Nigel Ratwatte, Richard Dharmpala, Gayan Weerakoon (Captain), Danushka Ranjan, Anurudda Wilwara, Thilina Wijesinghe.
Police XV: Danushka Edirisooriya, Rasith Silva (Captain), Lahiru Pavithra, Romesh Achirige, Udara Sooriyappetuma, Saumaya Wajith, Shanaka Harishchandra, Sajith Saram, Hashan Gomez and Sandesh Jayawickrama, Niroshan Silva, Lahiru Gunasinghe, Janith Chandimal, Sujan Kodithuwakku, Uthpala Edirisinghe.