Kandy’s Nihal ‘Viper’ Gunaratne | Page 2 | Daily News

Kandy’s Nihal ‘Viper’ Gunaratne

Nihal ‘Viper’ Gunaratne, the new Army team rugby coach has high hopes of showing his chargers how to win or be worthy opponents for the coming league inter-club rugby tournament. Kandy-born Nihal, more affectionately called “Viper”, is hoping to go all out to bring back the soldiers rugby to its glory days. Nihal is a good prospect and he has shown a lot of promise in coaching. He has years of experience in coaching and gets another chance to showcase his rugby coaching skills. He is one of the greatest rugby brains produced by Kandy and has proved his capabilities in the last 40 years.

Viper was a top flanker, and fine-tuned his role to be a top tackler and no opponent dared run into him. He was a top third row forward and played an important role in keeping the forwards tight by pushing from all angles. He was one of the first forwards to a breakdown from a scrum or line-out and link with the backs or secure the ball in a tackle. During his playing days he had a high work rate, fast and good at reading the opposition’s attacking play. During open play he made the tackle in the loose next to the ruck or maul. This allowed the team to arrive quickly at the next tackle.

He started his rugby at St. Anthony’s College and played from 1974 in the senior side and captained in 1975 and 1976. He also played for the Outstation Schools side in 1977 and Combined Schools. He started with the under 17 team, played for two years 1972 and 1973 under the guidance of Lucky Vitharane. His first senior coach in 1974 was Gavin Stephens. In 1975 he led the side coached by Izwan Omar. When he led in 1976 Irwin Howie was the coach. Straight from school he joined Kandy SC and played in 1977 under the coaching of late Col. Bertie Dais. He led the side in 1984 and played for the country in 1979 coached by Summa Navaratnam in the Rugby Asiad and Hong Kong Sevens. He also played for CR & FC, Up-Country and led the side. He was made to play rugby by his brother Edwin, a product of Vidyartha College.

His Professional qualifications at rugby are World Rugby (IRB) Licensed Coach Educator from 2008 (Licensed by the World Rugby/IRB to deliver coaching education courses worldwide), World Rugby (IRB) Level 1 Coach, World Rugby (IRB) Level 2 Coach, World Rugby (IRB) Level 3 Coach, Panel Member of the World Rugby Elite Coaching, World Rugby (IRB) Strength and conditioning accreditation, Certificate course in Human Resource management TAFE College, New South Wales, Australia 2004. He has conducted diploma course for the rugby coaches organized by the Ministry of Sports during 2015. He was Visiting Lecturer at the sports science Diploma and MSc course, University of Peradeniya since 2009, Strength and conditioning-training, New South Wales, Australia 2006, Conducted Level 1 & 2 coaching at Lahore, Pakistan for World rugby, 2015, World Rugby CPD program in Japan, Tokyo 2015, CPD program at Chennai, India 2016 and The Manager Development For Sri Lanka Rugby From 2013 To 2015. He c oached Kandy combined schools 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015.

He had been the Head of Talent identification for Sri Lanka Rugby Union for U16, 18 and U20. Then head coach of St. Anthony’s College 1st XV team 2016. The Development manager for Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union 2012 to 2015. Director of Rugby St. Joseph’s College Colombo 2013, Consultant Coach S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia 2010, Director of Rugby St. Anthony’s College Kandy 2005-2008, Head Coach Dharmaraja College Kandy 1987-92.

He also coached Sri Lanka U20 in 2007, Sri Lanka Youth coach 2010 and 2011, Junior Asiad Bangkok Thailand. He had been the Director of coaching at Hambantota Southern Sharks, coached Hornsby rugby club, Sydney, Australia 2004, Kandy Sports Club 1990 and 2007, coached Ceylon Tobacco Company where he started his employment to win the Mercantile champions 1986 and 1987.


 

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