India to compete at Asian Rugby Sevens Trophy in Laos

Mumbai, Feb 15 (IANS) India will compete in the women’s Asian Rugby Sevens Trophy to be held in Vientiane, Laos, on February 17-18. Apart from India and the hosts, other contenders are South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Nepal and Pakistan.

The winner of this tournament will secure a spot in the Asian Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, which will feature three legs and will be played between September 1 and October 14, 2017.

“It is very encouraging to see Women’s Rugby grow at such a rapid rate across the nation. The past five years has seen a tremendous growth in women’s participation in the sport. The total number of female players has grown from 5,355 in 2012 to 42,032 in 2016. This represents a 600 percent rise,” Rugby India Secretary General Mahesh Mathai said.

“Recently, the Indian Under-18 Girls Rugby team secured bronze in the Asian Rugby tournament held in December 2016 at Dubai.

“We are thankful to Societe Generale for contributing immensely to our efforts of developing the sport across all age groups. We are confident that the team will do their best to bring home accolades yet again,” he added.

The players shortlisted to join the training camp were selected during the Federation Cup Rugby Sevens Championship 2016, held on January 28-19 at the Biju Patnaik Sports Complex, Utkal University in Bhubaneswar.

After the Federation Cup, the training and selection camp was held at Bombay Gymkhana Grounds in Mumbai from February 4 to 16.

The squad features three players from Maharashtra, three from Delhi and six from Odisha.

Nasser Hussain serves as the head coach, while Rehmuddin Shaikh is his assistant.

The squad: Neha Pardeshi (Captain), Vahbiz Bharucha, Ruchi Shetty, Priya Bansal, Namita Bhoj, Neha S., Hupi Majhi, Laxmipriya Sahu, Meerarani Hembram, Sanjukta Munda, Bhagyalaxmi Barik, Subhalaxmi Barik.

–IANS

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