CH&FC will be strengthened by the inclusion of a horde of experienced and talented schoolboy rugby players this season

Meet the rugby clubs

By Indika Amarasinghe

Colombo Hockey and Football Club (CH&FC) will be back in contention for honors at this year’s inter-club league rugby tournament after experiencing a depressing financial crisis last year.

The grand old club, established in 1892, promises to give off its best under the guidance of coach Wazeel Hafeel. “We have got a very inexperienced squad and most of the players are schoolboys who are playing club rugby for the first time. We have to start all over again from Zero this time around and we are in the process of team rebuilding,” said Hafeel. CH&FC, also known as The Gymkhana Club, withdrew from contesting last year’s rugby season due to this crisis.

CH&FC last won the converted league title in the year 2000 under the leadership of former Science College captain cum three quarter Ajith Upawansa.

CH&FC will be strengthened by the inclusion of a horde of experienced and talented schoolboy rugby players this season.

According to reliable sources, professionalism that has crept into rugby together with the loads of money that’s pumped into game has triggered an exodus of experienced players from the Maitland Crescent club.

Speaking to The Nation Hafeel said, “The players as a team can put up a reasonable show this season. I don’t want a scenario where we have to stop playing halfway down the season like last year. I want to prove a point to Sri Lanka rugby lovers and club supporters that we are a strong club hence CH will not give up rugby at any cost. I want discipline to be at its best among our club players and this is the last chance, so if players don’t take this year’s season seriously, then it will be a sorry scenario for CH rugby,” said Hafeel.

This year the club will be captained by one of their most experienced players Rizkahn Siddiq, an ex Zahira College ruggerite.

The coaching staff at the club apart from Hafeel includes former national sevens star Sudath Sampath, who will be his deputy. Former CH&FC rugby player Anwar Jayah, who carries loads of experience with him, will function as the rugby manager.

CH will come out for the first time this season against Kandy SC on November 22 (Sunday) at Nittawela with the kick off scheduled at 4.00pm.

CH&FC rugby Squad:Rizkhan Siddiq, Prasad Perera, Steive Nelson, Nizmin , Tharindu Hasaranga, Udesh Perera, Ganidu Hewage,Udara Madusanka, Faran , Viraj Hewage, Migara Madugalla, Akash, Gazali M. Ifthikar, Sajith |Bandara, Lahiru Prabod, Shayan Rodrigo