By Harsha Amarasinghe
Kandy Sports Club will be the overwhelming favourites to regain the Inter-Club Sevens rugby title having missed the competition last year.
The double champions wil be led by former Science College captain Richard Dharmapala as the tournament is set to be kicked off today (8.40a.m)
Kandy are expected to field a star-studded side which will feature the likes of Danushka Ranjan, Gayan Weeraratne Roshan Weeraratne while they are coached by the former great Fazil Marija who retired at the end of last season.
Dharmapala's side however, will be without some of the speedsters in the form of Anurudda Wilwara and Nigel Ratwatte. Wilwara who has been a regular member of the Sri Lanka 7's setup has undergone surgery on his knee and is recovering at the moment. He will be available within one month, but could still miss Mercantile Sevens as well.
Kandy's closet rival for the title is expected to be CH and FC who have brought in some sensational sevens players in the form of Naveen Henakankanamge, Sudam Parinda, Hirantha Perera and most recently Nishon Perera.
In addition they have also got Sri Lanka 7's skipper Sudhrashana Muthuthanthri who is set to lead them.
CR and FC had earlier revealed that they were pulling out of the Club Sevens due to the massive number of injuries they are having which has only made it easy for top teams.
Defending champions Navy Sports Club lost several players already with forwards such as Dulanjana Wijesinghe and Nivanka Prasad leaving the club. However, the reigning champions remain to be a deadly side in the shorter format with liked of Buddhima Piyaratne, Saliya Hadapangoda and Thilina Weerasinghe.
Havelock Sports Club could possibly be fielding one of the weakest sides ever in their history with number of national players heading out of the Havelock Park.