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Home > News > February Newsletter from the Indian RFU
Your News February Newsletter from the Indian RFU

February 2009 Newsletter

Commonwealth Games 2010 Rugby 7s Update

Days till Kick Off - 613

January saw a flying visit from the IRB 7s Tournament guru Beth Coulter and Asia IRB Development Manager Jarrad Gallagher to Delhi to get an update on the Rugby 7s venue and to get a feel for progress on broadcasting, event management and personnel progress toward the Games.

They left feeling confident that most aspects of the preparation are on target and it is hoped that the Tournament Director for the Rugby 7s and the Event Manager will be named by the end of February.

There will be 2 test events leading into the Games themselves. One, a 16 team International tournament held early April 2010 and another 16 team National tournament held in July 2010 where the venue and personnel shall be put through their paces managing and conducting such a large event.

In conjunction with these many of the National IRFU tournaments in 2010 have been set down for Delhi with the view to give as many people a rugby experience as possible in the North has well as up skilling volunteers with a view to India hosting a very successful CWG 2010 Rugby 7s tournament.

Under 16 National Tournament held at Kalinga Insititute of Social Sciences (KISS)

This tournament was held in Bhubaneswar at the end of November and what a huge success the whole experience proved to be.

17 teams of Under 16s playing 12s and 7s over the 5 day tournament schedule watched by crowds in excess of 7000 each day and some scintillating rugby played by both experienced and inexperienced teams.

The eventual winners KISS showed the experience of overseas tournaments and playing as they cruised their way to the final running out winners over Kolkata team Future Hope

The original participating list was 18 teams. La Martiniere from Kolkata informed their inability to participate due to school sports and Jharkhand did not confirm their arrival till the last moment and Pool D were left with 2 teams. Manipur confirmed participation later and were adjusted in Pool B in place of La Martiniere.

After the final 12 a side results the rankings are as follows.


The rankings after the 7 a side finals are as follows:

1 KISS 2 FUTURE HOPE 3 MANIPUR 4 JUNGLE CROWS 5 ORISSA A 6 DELHI 7 MAGICIANS 8 ORISSA B 9 NERUL 10 FRANK ANTHONY 11 YRC 12 KERELA 13 CHENNAI 14 KHOLAPUR 15 NANDED 16 CHATTISGARH. U.P could not participate as they had booked return tickets for 25th noon.

The arrangements provided by KISS management were outstanding in respect to food, accommodation and transport. The RDO's and coaches handled the running of the tournament very smoothly. Each was given responsibilities to coach the experienced and inexperienced teams and guide them before and after the matches.

Basics in position, skills, and principles of play were applied by the RDO's to all the teams daily along with full officiating of matches as referees and touch judges. New hands having played the game and chosen for the job were also assessed and provided guidance. In all they carried out their jobs well and much to the keen enthusiasm and eagerness of the participants. We ensured our full participation and making the tournament interesting to all the participants and officials.

Added attraction and supported with a huge crowd was Rahul Bose's participation with the IRFU veterans playing an exhibition match with KISS 2ND team displaying good skill and applying the principles of play for the benefit of all the eager participants. What was chiefly noticeable was the inexperienced teams improving their game up by a few notches after having watched the experienced teams play. Every following game showed improvement and their determination to perform.

Star attraction on the 7 a side tournament was Sunil Gavaskars presence drawing huge crowds, who gave away the prizes along with Pramod Khanna and other dignitaries. The sevens turned out to be exciting and the inexperienced teams performed even better judging by their rankings.

Rugby Ready was shown to all participants and KISS students in the open air theatre at the KISS campus. A crowd of around 1200 being present engaged in watching the full Rugby Ready which was translated in Hindi for their benefit.

The tournament was a success and the founder of KISS Mr.A Samant expressed his willingness to hold it and make it an annual feature if included in the IRFU calendar. He was very magnanimous and provided all help that was asked and required. His staff was very cooperative and we did guide them whenever needed. The doctors and medical staff along with ambulance were there throughout and the services of their hospital nearby were a boon treating some injured players within their means free of cost.

Handling of injured players by the doctors who were gaining firsthand experience were guided by us and explained the requirements needed on the field for injured players. They will be better equipped for future tournaments.

By and large it was a wonderful experience for the participants as expressed by them and we thank the managers and coaches of each team for their participation and presence. Nandu Chandavaker RDM East India Rugby

Schools Rugby

There is so much happening in all regions with schools rugby its getting harder and harder to keep up with the activity Just a couple of the states -


The largest ever introducing rugby - school tournament will take place 12 -13 Feb at the Bombay Gymkhana with over 1000 boys and Girls from over 40 schools participating in 3 age groups U12, U14, and U16.

This is more than double the number of schools that participated in the same tournament last year.

Navi Mumbai in December hosted a 20 school tournament across the same age groups and later in March an inter district tournament is planned for the top schools from each district.


We started the Northern Mini and Youth Rugby at Stonehill international School on Sunday 18th. On Saturday the 17th we continued with the Southern Mini and Youth Rugby Group at SPT sports and all the Children from Dream a Dream were back again a total for the weekend.

The South: There were five groups comprising of a tackle group and 4 groups playing touch. Much enjoyment was had by the tackle group thanks to Thimmaiah and some of the younger Bangalore rugby Players.

Dave Armstrong worked with another group and reported that there had been considerable improvement since before Christmas and well done to all those players. While Matthis De Oude (thanks) and Landale Cranfield worked with the other three groups.

The skills training went well and there was much competition during the relay races. We have some work to do to improve the touch games and trying to translate the rules was fun.

The North: Players divided into three groups and it was good to see some old faces back and welcome children from Stonehill, TISB and the Canadian Schools.

The younger players were ably coached by Diederik Wowoe and helped by Jasper Mac Nevin's father thanks to all. This age group will grow and certainly remembered how to play touch rugby.

The addition of a group of 14 year olds from TISB (thanks to Mr Vaidraj Parihar) boosted the numbers and with some new players from the north of the city in that age group even after one afternoon of touch rugby there was some exciting running. Next we can move towards the tackle game.

Division 2 and 3 National Club Championships

The Christmas break now well over, we head to the last section of the 2008 season with the National Games Rugby 7s qualifying tournament in Guwahati 7th and 8th Feb followed by the National Div 2 (Callahan Cup) and Div 3 senior club tournaments in March as the finale to what has been a very busy year which has seen many firsts for Rugby India and its stakeholders.

Development Programmes

With the continuing increase in numbers taking up the sport we need to ensure we continue to develop and train coaches and referees in larger numbers.

To this end over the next several months Rugby India will be conducting IRB level 1 coaching and Level 1 officiating courses across the country starting with a 7s seminar at the National qualifiers this coming week.

We have been working with the Army to seek the best way to get higher participation levels within the armed services and we are pleased to announce that from late February we shall be working with the Armed Forces Physical Training Instructors course in Pune initially training all course Instructors to IRB Level 1 Coaching and officiating and from early March all new inductees (Aprox 200 every 2 months) will be introduced to the game over their 2 month course ultimately completing the IRB level 1 coaching and officiating modules and take these skills back to their barracks and form part of the regular army sports training regime.

This is a huge step for rugby within the armed services and is the next step in having rugby as a core sport across the Indian Army and other services.

Pune Womens 7s

In what was a first for womens rugby in India, a 6 team womens 7s tournament took place in Pune (Maharashtra) in late November with a team from Hong Kong narrowly winning the final over hosts Pune.

Thanks to the girls from Hong Kong for making the visit and assisting our local women over the weekend. We hope to welcome them back again and send a womens team to play in Hong Kong in the future.

Also many thanks to Surhud Khare and his team for putting such a successful tournament together.

This has proved a great step for Womens rugby in India and the interest generated by this tournament means that Rugby India is now able to expand the game further with Mumbai scheduled to host a National Club 7s womens tournament in May with 12 teams from around India expected to participate.

Womens Rugby - Development Officers

With the growth in womens rugby in states such as Kerala, Jammu Kashmir and Maharashtra, Rugby India is taking the bold step of appointing womens Rugby Development officers to these states.

Over the next couple of months it is hoped suitable female development people will be identified in each of these areas and recruited to work within the Rugby India infrastructure to specifically develop girls and womens rugby.

National 7s Squad Update

Good news on this front! Several of the key coaching and support personnel have been signed off by the relative CWG committees which means Rugby India is now able to start actioning some of its plans for its CWG 7s training squad.

We are pleased to announce that the training facility at Balevadi in Pune (the Youth Commonwealth Games site) has been confirmed as the base for our high performance training centre leading up to the Commonwealth Games.

This outstanding facility offers a one stop shop for our training requirements with accommodation, dining rooms, meeting rooms, recovery pools, gyms and of course training grounds as well as access to medical, nutrition, and conditioning personnel.

This centre from a rugby perspective is right up there with the best in the world and will give the training squad members every opportunity to reach their potential.

The first 19 squad members have been named and congratulations to these young men. The balance of the training squad of 36 shall be announced after the national Games Rugby 7s qualifiers taking place in Feb in Guwahati and other tournaments over the next few months

The Initial CWG Rugby 7s Training Squad members are

Name Club Name Club

Nasser Hussain Bombay Gymkhana Amit Lochab Delhi

Gopinath Chennai Cheetahs Pritom Roy Bombay Gymkhana

Thimmiah Thiman Bangalore Anwar Shaikh Magicians

Sujai Lama Army Red Dalwinder Singh Army Red

Tarun Appanna Bangalore Sukhdeep Singh Army Red

Vishel Vashist Delhi Bikash Jena Army Red

Ganesh Sawant MSP Kayrus Unwala Bombay Gymkhana

Tudu Future Hope Puneet Krishnamurthy Bangalore

Rohan Sethna Bombay Gymkhana Hirishiresh Pendse Bombay Gymkhana

Gautam Dogar Delhi

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