The Lewkes: Father and son make rugby history | Sunday Observer

The Lewkes: Father and son make rugby history

Nimal Lewke-Dushanth Lewke
Nimal Lewke-Dushanth Lewke

Like father, like son. Royal College rugby coach Dushanth Lewke proved that he has the potential to reach the top and be one, if not the best coach in rugby like his father the famous Nimal Lewke who has already etched his name as a legend in playing, coaching and refereeing.

Lewke enjoyedw an excellent rugby career at Royal College, where he represented the school from under-12 to the First Fifteen team where he was the vice captain of the unbeaten side. This side set a record in the Bradby Shield history by recording the highest score of 44-0 and 39-0 for a total aggregate of 83-0.

It will remain a record difficult for any ream to equal or surpass. Lewke represented the Sri Lanka junior team at the Asiad which qualified for the Junior World Cup in the same year. He represented Kandy SC, Police and CR and FC, a team he also captained.

Lewke also represented Sri Lanka for many years as a very versatile Number Eight and also captained the team at the Asiad. He had the privilege of representing Sri Lanka in three Asiads including the Junior Asiad.

Lewke is a top-level qualified coach with a Level Two certificate that also covers a Strength and Conditioning course in New Zealand where he regularly attended training programmes and played for the Taranaki Province for two years.

Lewke’s rise was certainly well earned and well established. He was the Royal College assistant coach for three years where he closely worked with Sanath Martis. Highly disciplined and dedicated he took over the team as head coach in 2018 and had instant success when his team romped home unbeaten title winners in the concluded League.

The team had everything of a Lewke brand and what he stood for: basics, discipline and the fitness level of a team which was streets ahead of other schools that made them the champions.

Being an Australian Degree holder for Business Management, Lewke maintained strict discipline and the quality of rugby at Royal played this season was top class, an example of his commitment and the ability to produce a Champion side.

What is also interesting is that Lewke entered the record books of Sri Lanka like his father Nimal Lewke, a product from Kandy and an old boy of St. Sylvester’s College. The senior Lewke excelled in boxing, cricket, hockey and football during his time in Kandy while there was no rugby at his school.

He first played for Kandy SC from where he crossed over to Police and then ended up as a referee and later coached Kandy SC to become a champion outfit besides also being the Sri Lanka coach.

Like his son, the senior Lewke achieved the same when he coached S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia in 2000 to become unbeaten champs under Gavin Jayasekera.

Few people know that Nimal Lewke also turned a new leaf at St. Peter’s College as coach when in 1994 he paved the way for the team to become League champions in 1995 under former Sri Lanka coach Ajith Abeyratne.

This is the first time in Sri Lanka rugby history that a father and son has produced unbeaten school rugby teams which is a huge and unique achievement.