The 12-member Indian squad participated in the Asian Rugby Seven, won a silver this year held in Laos, Vietnam on Saturday.
At the tournament, the players participated under the aegis of the Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the governing body for the sport of Rugby in India.
The selected team members are Neha Pardeshi, Vahbiz Bharucha and Ruchi Shetty (from Maharashtra), Hupi Majhi, Laxmipriya Sahu, Meerarani Hembram, Sanjukta Munda, Bhagyalaxmi Barik and Subalaxmi Barik (from Odisha), and Priya Bansal, Namita Bhoj and Neha S (from Delhi).
ALSO READ: Indian women’s team clinches bronze in Rugby
Recently, the Indian U-18 girls clinched a bronze medal in the 2016 Asian Rugby at Dubai, UAE.
While the team is supported by Societe Generale, the financial partner of Rugby India, they were selected at the Federation Cup 2016 which was held last year at Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. The team had a tough training session at Bombay Gymkhana grounds earlier this month, after which they have been chosen to play in the Asian Rugby Seven tournament.
Rugby is not a mainstream game in India, though the Indian girls gave a tough fight to a total of seven countries from across Asia including South Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan. The host Laos finally topped and took the trophy home.
In the competition – played on a Round Robin basis, India on day one, beat Laos 22-7, Philippines 12-5, Nepal 43-0 and Malaysia by 26-12, while on the second day, Pakistan bowed out by India 5-0 but the Indians couldn’t save the last match when they were up against South Korea and dashed out by 0-29.
According to Asia Rugby’s tournament statistics, India’s Hupi Majhi from Odisha, won the top three Try Scorers spot in the tournament and Meerarani Hembram stood as the third highest in the conversions. Pardeshi captained team and former India men’s captain, Nasser Hussain coached the players to be at their best of forms.
Coach Hussian said to Financial Express, “I see tremendous potential for women’s rugby to grow heaps and bounds in our country and make our mark globally. We are hopeful that this achievement will inspire many women out there to take up Rugby as a sport and shine in this field,” after the last game.
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