Sri Lanka have announced their squad for the upcoming Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Sudarshana Muththanthri will captain the side, which sees just three players from the side that competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The Tuskers will field nine players set to make their Games debuts, with Srinath Sooriyabandara, Danushka Ranjan and skipper Muthuthanthri the only returning players.
Adeesha Weerathunga who was impressive at the recent Borneo Sevens has been picked in the forwards alongside the more experienced Danush Dayan and Muthuthanthri.
Sri Lanka, who own the Shield in 2014 with 35-0 and 43-7 victories over Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago respectively, open up their campaign against Olympic gold medalists Fiji on 14 April.
They will also face series regulars Wales, and Uganda in their pool.
Peter Woods will be in charge of the side and will be under the supervision of high-performance manager Inthi Marikar.
“We competed well at the recent Borneo Sevens, beating a Fijian team and a team from New Zealand before losing in the semi-final,” said Marikar.
“The Games obviously has 12 of the top sides from the world series so our hopes are just to compete well in all areas of the games. All of our games will be tough.”
It is a huge opportunity for Sri Lanka to be on the world stage and one that Marikar, a former player himself, is relishing.
“It will be a great opportunity for us. Rugby is the glamour sport in Sri Lanka.
“We have now set up a high performance team with experienced coaches and physios. Rugby has been a huge influence in my life and the game has given me a lot as a player and now leading the High Performance team so I’m excited to see how we grow as a country.”
Sri Lanka squad for the Commonwealth Games:
- Sudarshana Muthuthanthri (C)
- Danushka Ranjan
- Richard Dharmapala
- Srinath Sooriyabandara
- Danush Dayan
- Hirantha Perera
- Tarinda Ratwatte
- Reyhan Silva
- Sudam Sooriyarachchi
- Naveen Henakankanamage
- Adeesha Weeratunga
- Kavindu Perera