Rugby India have announced the 26-member squad for the Indian Men’s Rugby XVs team who will represent India at the Asia Rugby Championship at Jakarta, Indonesia from 26th June 2019 – 29th June 2019. This championship is one of the qualifier rounds for the 2023 Rugby World Cup to be held in France. The squad which played their international debut last year, will be led by captain Vikas Khatri and face teams, China and hosts Indonesia.
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 9th to 23rd 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. In addition, there was a National Pre-Camp held in Sonipat, Haryana in March. The team departs for Jakarta on Sunday, 23rd 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 rugby aspirants. It has been our constant endeavor to promote Rugby and provide the best of infrastructure, training grounds and preparatory camps under the guidance of expert coaches and tailoring the programs to develop an individual player’s core skills. We are confident, post their specialised training at the camp here in Bhubaneswar, the team will be better prepared and will demonstrate outstanding performance in Jakarta and bring laurels for our country.”
Speaking on the team composition, Chief Coach Hendrik ‘Naas’ Botha, said, “I am proud of our players. In the last few days at the preparatory camp they underwent extensive strength and conditioning training and have demonstrated great passion and commitment to advance their skills and this tournament could be a great platform to showcase them.”