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Four Girls From Odisha In Indian Squad For Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy


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05 August 2019

Snigdha Chandan Das


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Bhubaneswar: Four girls from Odisha have been selected in the Indian Women's Rugby Team to participate in the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy which will be held at the GBK Sports Complex in Jakarta, Indonesia on August 10 and 11.

Sumitra Nayak, Hupi Majhi, Subhalaxmi Barik and Meerarani Hembram are part of the 12-member team participating in the tournaments which will serve as the platform for qualification for the Asia Rugby Seven Series.

Rugby India today announced the 12-member squads for the Indian Men's & Women's Rugby teams for the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy. Both squads were part of a 15-day Indian National Training Camp which was held at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) in Bhubaneswar.

The camps were fully supported by the Sports & Youth Services Department of Odisha. The players shortlisted to join the camp were selected during the Societe Generale Senior National Rugby Sevens Championship which was held in Patna last month.

The Indian teams led by skippers Vikas Khatri (Men's) and Vahbiz Barucha (Women's) are set to depart for the tournament on August 7.

Commending the athletes, Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera said, "We have created an ecosystem where we support athletes across several sports disciplines, including Rugby, to achieve their full potential and it gives us immense pleasure today to see these young kids represent our country at the Asian Rugby Sevens Trophy. The zeal of these young and dynamic players is unflinching and with continued practice and team spirit, we are confident, they will achieve great success in their upcoming tournament. Congratulations and best wishes to each one of them."

Extending his best wished for the upcoming championship, Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Sports Department, Vishal Kumar Dev, said, "I congratulate both the Men's and Women's team on their selection. The popularity and visibility of Rugby is growing due to the consistent and strong performance of the players and we are happy to be supporting them. We are confident they will outshine their competitions and bring laurels to the country."

Speaking on the team composition, Coach Ludwuiche Van Deventer, said, "I am extremely proud fo the players and the level of commitment they have shown in the lead up to the tournament. I am confident in the team's abilities and positive that they will make India proud with their performance at the Asian Championships in Jakarta. I urge all Indians to show their love and support for Team India."

Commenting on the occasion, Former India Rugby player, Actor & Film Maker, Rahul Bose, said, "I am terrifically grateful to the Sports & Youth Services department, Government of Odisha, for supporting Rugby. They have been one of the most proactive, diligent and excellence-focused state sports destination in the country. My thanks to them too for fulfillig the commitments they made in the past year during the Rugbhy World Cup trophy tour. India Rugby's partneship with them was really celebrated when Odisha hosted the Asian Rugby U18 Girls Rugby Championship last year and now continues to support High Performance training camps for our Indian National Rugby teams at the amazing KIIT facilities here in Bhubaneswar. My best wished to the Indian men and women rugby teams for the Asian Sevens Trophy."

Further he added, "I fully endorse Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's vision statement, 'sport for youth, youth for future'. Odisha boasts a luminous legacy of sporting achievement and the State has proved that they have world-class sports infrastructure by successfully hosting International and National tournaments. Odisha has already made its mark on the world map and the State has become a much sought after sports hub in the country. I will be honoured to stay associated with Odsiha and hope to contribute to its excellent sports ecosystem - something that is already benefiting not just this region but the country as a whole."

The list of players of both Indian Men's & Women's Rugby teams for the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy are listed below.

Indian Men's Rugby Team Indian Women's Rugby Team
Vikhas Khatri - Captain (Haryana) Vahbiz Bharucha - Captain (Maharashtra)
Neeraj Khatri (Haryana) Sweta Shahi (Bihar)
Deepak Punia (Haryana) Sweety Kumari (Bihar)
Prince Khatri (Haryana) Sumitra Nayak (Odisha)
Mohit Khatri (Haryana) Hupi Majhi (Odisha)
Ajay Deswal (Haryana) Subhalaxmi Barik (Odisha)
Surinder Singh (Services) Sheetal Sharma (Delhi)
Zosangzuala (Services) Meerarani Hembram (Odisha)
Paulsamy Uthaya Shankar (Services) Sandhya Rani (West Bengal)
Sukumar Hembrom (West Bengal) Neha (Delhi)
Rajdeep Saha (West Bengal) Priya Bansal (Delhi)
Jakir Hussain (Delhi) Shikha Yadav (Delhi)

 Indian Team Coach - Ludwiche van Deventer (South Africa)

India Team Coach - Louis Boshoff (South Africa)

Indian Team Manager - Manas Kumar Jena (Odisha)

Indian Team Manager - Dhiren Kumar Rout (Odisha)

Physio - Rajesh Mali (West Bengal)

Physio - Abdul Wahid Khan Pathan (Gujarat)

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Tusharkanti Behera, Minister, Sports & Youth Services Department

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Vishal Kumar Dev, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Sports & Youth Services Department