By Harsha Amarasinghe
CH and FC’s title bid was given a major boost yesterday as the Maitland Crescent Club secured the signing of former S. Thomas skipper Naveen Henakankanamage ahead of the Inter-Club Sevens next month.
Henakankanamage did not take part in any of the inter-club games in the previous season and it was felt that the dynamic wing three quarter had no intentions of playing club rugby despite being a regular member in the Sri Lanka 7’s side.
However, CH and FC management have convinced the player to join their squad in what could turn out to be a golden season for the Gymkhana Club.
“He is a sensational player and we observed his development as a ruggerrite over the years. He has improved each year and we hope he will deliver at the club as well,” the CH and FC management revealed.
Having led the Sri Lanka Under-18 and Under-20 sides, Henakankanamage will join another former S. Thomas’ captain in the shape of Sudharshana Muthuthanthri who crossed over to the Maitland Crescent from Havelock Park towards the latter stages of last season.
Henakankanamage looks set to be a starter in the CH side for the Inter-Club Sevens Tournament, and will battle it out for a place in the first XV later this year with likes of Anurada Herath and Hashan Maduranga.
The 20-year-old is CH’s fourth signing within the last two weeks as they had already signed the scrum-half Sudam Parinda, centre Hirantha Perera and number eight Nivanka Prasad.