Kapila Silva did Kandy SC and Sri Lanka proud | Daily News

Kapila Silva did Kandy SC and Sri Lanka proud

Kandy Sports Club has contributed immensely towards popularizing and producing quality players to represent the country in the game of rugby football. Dilhan Kapila Silva was one of them who had an illustrious career initially as a player later continuing to serve in the capacity of team Manager/General Manager for over a decade.

Kapila was born in 1978 in Colombo and his father was late Sarath Ravendra who worked at Colombo Dockyard while mother Ranjani Samarawickrama is a housewife. He has one sister Mihiri Amandu. Kapila with a height of six feet and a playing weight of 88 kilogrammes attended Isipathana College, Colombo from 1983 to 1997 where he completed his higher studies. From his hay days, he had a liking for sports especially handling the rugby ball. His presence towards rugby was due to the motivation of one of his cousins Nadun Alwis. He had encouraged Kapila who had an ideal body build conducive for rugby.

In 1990, at the age of mere 12 years, he launched his rugby career with the school under-13 team. His first coach was Sanath Asanjaya from whom he learnt the basics of the game. Then he represented the school under-15 and 17 teams as a utility player locking horns either as a second rower forward or as a flanker. During his junior rugby days, he surged ahead to win several titles for his school. At the age of 17 years, he was called to scrum down with the college first XV team in 1995 under the captaincy of Ali Wahid coached by M.D.Ifthikar.

In his second year under Bandula Mallikarachchi in 1996 coached by Leslie de Silva and the third and final year was led by Vajira Hewage coached by Kelum Gunaratne, which was one of the best years in Isipathana rugby. They became triple Champions and maintained a record of scoring over 50 points against their rivals except Royal in that season, which he rates a memorable one in his career. He toured with the Sri Lanka schools team to Hong Kong in 1997. Soon after the school season, which apparently was end of the club season, he donned the CH and FC jersey in three knockout tournament matches. Later he decided to cross over to CR and FC to play the1998/99 season which was led by his school mate Champika Nishantha. While he was competing there he was called for National duty in 1998 and wore the Sri Lankan jersey till 2000, participating both in the Sevens and XV-a-side format. He played under Viraj Prasantha, Champika Nishantha and Haris Omar’s captaincy t engaging in several tournaments locally and Internationally.

After his single season with CR, he was invited by Sajith Mallikarachchi to join Kandy in 1999 towards the end of the season. Eventually, he started playing for them from 2000 to 2008, once again in his usual position in the pack. According to him, he had a charismatic career with the Hill capital club and mingled with some great players of that era. He was fortunate enough to play under Dunstan de Silva and Indrajith Bandaranayake, Pradeep Basanayake, Nalaka Weerakkody, Sajith Mallikarachci, Jeewa Galigamuwa and

Sanjeewa Jayasinghe’s captaincy’s to snatch nine league titles and eight knock out tournaments, held in the country. While he was playing for Kandy, he was once again recalled to represent the Sevens National team in 2004 to 2007 seasons which subsequently was his last appearance with the National team.

After he hung up his boots in 2008, he got the offer to take over as the team manager with his club, which he has been occupying up to date. He also coached Dharmaraja College in 2018/19 season transforming them to reach the next level. After eleven years from the time he gave up rugby, was finally elevated to General Manager post in 2020 with Kandy Sports Club.

He likes to extend his sincere gratitude to his coaches from his club to National career including HemanthaYatawara, Priyantha Ekanayake Tavitha Thulagesie(Laga), late George Simpkin, C.P. Abeygunawardena, Tony Amit, Nimal Lewke and Ana Saranapala.

His career had a drastic change after joining Kandy it was due to none other than Malik Samarawickrema the Chairman of Kandy SC to whom he is obliged and thankful. He also likes to thank his employer M.J.

International. He has one daughter Netara and a son Netash.

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