By Harsha Amarasinghe
Wing three quarter Sachith Silva and second row Udara Sooriyapperuma have returned from injuries to lift Police Sports Club who are scheduled to host Army Sports Club at Police Park tomorrow (22).
Veteran lock Sooriyapperuma was unavailable for the Air Force game with a fractured finger and looked set to be sidelined for a few weeks, but the former captain has recovered on time to be named in the starting line-up for the Army game replacing Udaya Sanjula.
Former Josephian speedster Silva also missed last week’s action due to an ankle injury, but a quick recovery has brought him back to the first XV in place of Shan Akila.
Wing three quarter Kasun Rajakaruna who enjoyed his first start of the season with a try against Air Force Sports Club has kept his place in the team.
Silva and Rajakaruna will form a lethal back three alongside full back Kasun Suranga who has been one of their unsung heroes this season.
Suranga having initially played at scrum-half was moved to full-back paving room for Primesh Danushka, but Suranga has been able to improve his game further at full back contributing immensely to most of their attacking moves.
The former Prince of Wales star has scored five tries this season and his pace and game awareness should put him in contention for a place in the Sri Lanka 7’s side.
Army Sports Club has made a host of changes to their side.
Hooker Aravinda Karunaratne has returned to the front row to join Ranjan Jayaratne and Dileesha Niroshan while Nalaka Maduranga will form a second row partnership with incoming Nalan Premanath who has replaced Manoj Wickramaarachchi.
Chameera Silva has also been given a starting spot in the third row alongside Sanjaya Rathnayake and Dhanuka Wijethilake while there are no changes to the half back combination of Chamath Fernando and Ashan Bandara.
Star player Sudaraka Dikkumbura has been suspended for one game having collected three yellow cards and wing three quarter Madushan Chandrasekara will take his spot while they have moved Thusitha Senananayake to right wing three quarter position leaving Lahiru Ratnayake out on the bench.
This has provided the opportunity to their top scorer Tomasi Caqusa to form a midfield partnership with Danushka Thalwatte. Meanwhile, Sachin Gamage has replaced Isuru Medagedara at full back.
Police XV: Hashan Fernando, Rasith Silva, Dhanushka Edirisooriya, Udara Sooriyapperuma, Mohan Wimalaratne, Nisal Samadhi, Vageesha Weerasinghe, Kavinda Jayasuriya, Primesh Dhanushka and Yohan Pieris, Sachith Silva, Emosi Vunivosa, Iroshan Silva, Kasun Rajakaruna, Kasun Suranga
Army XV: Ranjan Jayaratne, Aravinda Karunanayake, Dileepa Niroshan, Nalaka Maduranga, Nalan Premanath, Chameera Silva, Sanjaya Rathnayake, Dhanuka Wijethilake, Chamath Fernando and Ashan Bandara, Madushan Chandrasekara, Tomasi Caqusa, Dhanushka Thalwatte, Thusitha Senanayake, Sachin Gamage