Rugby India today announced the 26-member squad for the Indian Women’s Rugby XVs team who will represent India at the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship at Southern Plains Sports Field, Manila, Philippines from 17th June 2019 – 23rd June 2019.
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This championship is one of the qualifier rounds for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup to be held in New Zealand. The squad which played their international debut last year, will be led by captain Vahbiz Bharucha and face teams, Singapore, Philippines and China.
The team is supported by Societe Generale, the financial partner of Rugby India and is participating under the aegis of the Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the governing body for the sport of Rugby in India.
The squad was part of 15-day Indian National Training camp held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha from 2nd to 16th June.
The players shortlisted to join the camp were selected during the All India Division 1 and Division 2 tournaments which were held in Mumbai and Ludhiana respectively. The team departs for Manila on Sunday, 16th June, 2019.
The camps were supported by Rugby India, Department of Sports and Youth Services, Government of Odisha and KIIT.
Extending his best wishes for the upcoming championship, Commissioner-cum- Secretary, Sport and Youth Services, Government of Odisha, Vishal K Dev , said, “I congratulate the players on their selection to the national team and wish them the very best for their tournament. Their determination and relentless spirit is admirable and inspiring for other young women in sports disciplines.
It is also a matter of great pride that seven players from Odisha have made the cut to the national representation. We hope the team will demonstrate outstanding performance in Manila and bring laurels for our country.”
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Mahesh Mathai, Secretary General, Rugby India said, “Women’s Rugby XVs has grown leaps and bounds in India. From not having any women’s rugby XVs being played as recent as 2 years ago to having over 35 Rugby XVs team playing competitively today. In 2018, the Union hosted three National level Rugby XVs tournaments for Women, namely the All India (Division I), the Callaghan Cup (Division II) and the All India Inter University Rugby (M&W) Championship.”
Speaking on the team composition, Chief Coach Ludwuiche Van Deventer, said, “I am proud of the players and believe last few days at the camp, they have demonstrated great passion and commitment to advance their skills and this tournament could be a great platform to showcase them.”