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  4 from Odisha picked for Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy
19 Jul 2022

Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU) today announced Indian Men and Women teams, featuring 14 players each for the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy, which is scheduled to be held at GBK Rugby Stadium, Jakarta, Indonesia on 6 and 7 August 2022.

A total of four players from Odisha have been selected in the Indian teams. Among the four Odisha players, Shanawaz Ahmed has been included in the Indian Men team, while Hupi Majhi, Dumuni Manrndi and Tarulata Naik have incorporated in the Indian Women team.

Both squads were part of a rigorous six-week-long National training camp which was held at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), Bhubaneswar. The camps were supported by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sport (MYAS), Government of India, Sport and Youth Services Department (DSYS), Government of Odisha, Societe Generale as well as KIIT and KISS.


A total of 45 men and 40 women were shortlisted from a pool of over 600 players to join the National camp. The Indian teams, led by skippers Prince Khatri (Men) and Vahbiz Bharucha (Women), are set to depart on July 20 for foreign exposure tours to South Africa and Thailand respectively. Both teams will then travel to Indonesia to take part in the Asian championships.

A total of 12 countries in the men and eight in women are set to participate in the
2022 Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy. The participating countries include Afghanistan, Brunei, Iraq, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Qazakhstan, Singapore, Guam, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Mangolia, Nepal, UAE, India & hosts Indonesia.

Commending the athletes, Odisha Sports and Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti
Behera said, “We have created an ecosystem where we support athletes across several sports disciplines, including Rugby, to achieve their full potential. Rugby has come a long way over the last five years and the Government of Odisha has played a part in this success journey. We are confident, they will achieve great success in their
upcoming tournament.“

Extending his best wishes for the upcoming championship, DSYS Secretary R Vineel Krishna said, “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. I am very pleased to note that four players from Odisha have been selected in these teams. It is testament to the growth and development of the sport across the state.”

Speaking on the team composition, Coach Ludwuiche Van Deventer said, “I am extremely proud of the final teams that we have here with us today. Each and every player fought hard over the last six weeks to earn that coveted Indian jersey. This is a new face for Indian Rugby and I can confidently say that this is the most conditioned and skilled Indian side we have ever fielded till date.”

Commenting on the occasion, IRFU President Rahul Bose said, “The DSYS Odisha team been one of the most proactive, diligent and excellence-focused state sports departments in the country. My thanks to them too for fulfilling the commitments they made in 2018 during the Rugby World Cup trophy tour.”


MEN: Prince Khatri, Neeraj Khatri, Deepak Punia, Vikas Khatri, Mohit Khatri, Ajay (all Haryana); Surinder Singh, Zosangzuala (both Services); Pappu Todkar (Maharashtra), Akash Balmiki, Rajdeep Saha (both West Bengal), Hitesh Dagar, Gautam Dagar (both Delhi); Shanawaz Ahmed (Odisha).

WOMEN: Vahbiz Bharucha, Vaishnavi Patil (both Maharashtra); Sweta Shahi, Arti Kumari (both Bihar); Hupi Majhi, Dumuni Marndi, Tarulata Naik (all Odisha); Sandhya Rai (West Bengal), Shikha Yadav, Nandini, Priya Bansal, Sheetal Sharma, Gomti (all Delhi); Ramneek Kaur (Punjab).

TEAM STAFF: Ludwiche van Deventer (Head Coach, South Africa), Louis Boshoff (Assistant Coach), Hendrik Egnatius Botha (Director, South Africa); Shikha Thakkar (Manager Maharashtra), Sandeep Mosamkar (Manager Maharashtra), Terrance Joseph Coach, West Bengal), Sourojit Ghosh (Coach, West Bengal), Lizanne Paes (Physio, Maharashtra), Fahis Adavampurath (Physio, Kerala).
------------------------------------------------------------------------ PICS ------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOP: Indian women rugby team with DSYS Secretary Vineel Krishna in Bhubaneswar on 19 July 2022.
RIGHT: Indian men rugby team with IRFU President Rahul Bose, DSYS Secretary Vineel Krishna and Odisha Rugby Football Association President Priyadarshi Mishra in Bhubaneswar on 19 July 2022.


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