Vidyartha ruggerites out to give of their best | Daily News

Vidyartha ruggerites out to give of their best

Vidyartha College ruggerites known as “Tigers” will field a top rugby side and they are in Group 2 A, along with schools like St.Peter’s College, Wesley College, Isipathana College, Science College and Dharmaraja College, these teams will vie with Vidyartha College, the first game is with Wesley College away, followed with matches with St. Peters home, Isipathana College Home, Dharmaraja College home, and Science College away. This time the captain is Arosh Rathnayake who has five years experience the Vice captain is Kaveshka Wijayaratne.

One again Vidyartha College head coach is Nalin Wijesinghe who was the vice captain of the Vidyartha College side in 1999, after school he played for Kandy Sports Club, Kandy Youth Sports Club and Air Force. He is a level two rugby coach, rugby referee and has 15 years coaching experience;he was also the Central Province development coach. . Former national player Anush Kolonne, is the backs coach who played for Vidyartha College and Navy. Veteran Ananda Kasthuriarchchi is the coaching educator and rugby consultant, The trainer is Roshan Hemantha. POG is Sumith Dissanayake and MIC Thilak Pushpakumara.

The Tigers have not only produced top teams and but also some of the finest players to the National Team. They first started to play against the leading schools only in 1966 (first appearance in the official schools’fixture list).

A sport which has continued to gain popularity at Vidyartha College, Kandy since its inception is rugby. Since its introduction, in 1959 rugby has gained popularity Vidyartha College has produced several top players who have thrilled their supporters, old boys and fans with good rugby.

Vidyartha is a school which has not only produced top teams but also many top players who turned out for clubs and the national team. One of the players who hit the top at first was Tikiri Banda Wijesinghe who, soon as his school life ended joined Kandy Lake Club and polished his rugby and he was spotted by CR & FC and was invited to play for CR & FCand later played for the national side.

The other players to come out with top performances were George Jayasena who too joined Kandy Lake Club and polished his rugby and later played for Kandy Lake Club, Uva and Kandy Sports Club and became the second old boy to play for the national team. Edwin Viper Gunaratne played for Air Force, CR & ‘FC and Sri Lanka. Then Sunil Serasinghe a top class goal kicker, played as full back, played for Kandy Lake Club, Air Force, Kandy Sports Club,Uva,Up-Country and Sri Lanka Presidents XV.

Then came Charles Wijewardene, the man who was called “King Charles” who started his rugby with Sri Lanka Air Force and later played for Police, CR and FC and the Country and was the best place-kicker during his days.

Then R.M. Lafir gave his best for the game and led Police in 1978 , Nimal Malagamuwa, Sunil Munasinghe both played for Kandy and Sri Lanka later Dilan Ekanayake Sumedha Malewana Charith Seneviratne Chanaka Chandimal Kavindu Perera Saliya Kumara Danushka Pushpakumara and Jason Dissanayake too donned the Sri Lanka jersey with distinction

Then the rest of the players who come to my mind are Z.M. Zarook after school he too started with Kandy Lake Club and later for Kandy SC, Up-Country and coached many schools and produced top players There were a whole lot of players who took to the game and went on to play at highest level were H.G. Ariyaratne Kandy Sports Club and Kandy RFC, Sunil Perera played for Police and Sri Lanka at the 1972 RugbyAsiad, Lakshman Samaraswijaya-Kandy Sports Club, D.G. Dayaratne-Kandy SC and Sri Lanka Police, G.Chandra who captained Sri Lanka Army in 1983, Nimal Malagamuwa Kandy SC and Sri Lanka scrum half, Lakshman Dullewe Kandy SC, AthulaManchanyake Kandy SC and Sri Lanka at the 1982 Rugby Asiad Anil Jayasinghe Kandy Sports Club and was also a national poolist, George Samarajeewa and KuamrMeeriyagala, are some of the names which come to my mind.

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