Tuskers eye Asian Games gold under OCA Flag
Skipper Tharinda Ratwatte is confident that his team will be able to win the gold medal at the 19th Asian Games Sevens Rugby Tournament, which will be held next week in Hangzhou, China.
The dynamic fly half and ace place-kicker made these observations after having completed their final preparations at the Racecourse Grounds in Colombo and before their departure to China today.
The Sri Lanka Tuskers, of course, will be competing in this 13-team tournament under the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Flag as Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) is currently serving a suspension from World Rugby from May 2023.
“We have been training with this squad for nearly a month, so the preparations are very good ahead of this tournament and the boys are determined to give their best,” Ratwatte told reporters.
“We will be playing two Pool ‘B’ first-round matches against South Korea and Chinese Taipei, whom we have not met for the last two years but we have a good gameplan for both these opponents,” he emphasised. “Whatever happened in the past, we will be still representing the Sri Lanka Team and we want to maintain that pride throughout this tournament and end up with a gold medal,” Ratwatte stressed.
Meanwhile, Coach Dushanth Lewke said that this will be a good opportunity for some of the newcomers to make an impact as nine players who participated in last year’s Birmingham Commonwealth Games in England are not touring this time.
Tharinda Ratwatte (Captain), Adeesha Weerathunga, Heshan Jansen, Ramesh Fernando, Gemunu Chethiya, Adam Gaudar, Anjula Hettiarachchi, Akash Madushanka, Raveen Fernando, Dinupa Seneviratne, Kavindu de Costa, Dharshana Dabare, Dushanth Lewke (Coach), Sanath Pitigala (Manager) and Dr. Namith Sankalpana (Team Doctor).