Viper Gunaratne lands top coaching job at Sri Lanka Rugby | Sunday Observer

Viper Gunaratne lands top coaching job at Sri Lanka Rugby

11 October, 2020
Nihal (Viper) Gunaratne
Nihal (Viper) Gunaratne

Well known Kandy rugby player, coach, referee and administrator Nihal (Viper) Gunaratne has been appointed as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rugby Coaching Committee for the year 2020/2022 with immediate effect.

His appointment letter was signed by Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) secretary Jude Pillai.

Some of Gunaratne’s long list of professional qualifications in rugby are, World Rugby (IRB) Licensed Coach Educator from 2008, World Rugby (IRB) Level One Coach, World Rugby (IRB) Level 2 Coach, World Rugby (IRB) Level 3 Coach, Panel Member of the World Rugby Elite Coaching, World Rugby (IRB) Strength and Conditioning Accreditation and Certificate course in Human Resource Management, New South Wales, Australia 2004.

Kandy-born Gunaratne, more affectionately called ‘Viper’ for his quick breaks, has shown a lot of promise in coaching with years of experience and is one of the top rugby brains while proving his capabilities in the past 40 years.

He has coached many schools and clubs and has been the head of talent identification for Sri Lanka Rugby at junior level besides being its Development manager from 2012 to 2015.

He was also Director of Rugby at St. Joseph’s College Colombo 2013, Consultant Coach S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia 2010, Director of Rugby St. Anthony’s College Kandy 2005-2008 and Head Coach Dharmaraja College Kandy 1987-92.

He also coached the Sri Lanka Under-20 team in 2007 and was Sri Lanka coach in 2010 and 2011 at the Junior Asiad in Bangkok, Thailand.

Gunaratne also served Kandy SC as its Director of Coaching in 1990 and 2007.

During is playing days, Gunaratne was a top flanker who was solid in both attack and defence after commencing his career at St. Anthony’s College whose team he captained in 1975 and 1976.

Straight from school he joined Kandy SC and played in 1977 under the coaching of the late Col. Bertie Dais.

He led the side in 1984 and wore the Sri Lanka jersey in 1979 at the Rugby Asiad and Hong Kong Sevens. He also played for CR and FC.

Gunaratne was also picked by World Rugby to Conduct a Level One and Two coaching course in Lahore, Pakistan in 2015, a program in Tokyo, Japan in the same year and in Chennai, India in 2016.

He coached the Kandy Combined Schools from 2010 to 2012 and once more in 2015.