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Sunwolves Host Stormers In First Super Rugby Match In Hong Kong
Hong Kong will stage its first ever Super Rugby match on 19 May 2018 at Mong Kok Stadium when Japan’s Hito-Communications Sunwolves host South Africa’s DHL Stormers in Week 14 of the 19-week 2018 regular season.Although the Sunwolves will be on debut in the city, the side features some familiar faces for local fans – including over 10,000 Japanese residents in the city, with test captain and flanker Michael Leitch, scrumhal THIS Tanaka, hooker Shota Horie, backs Yu Tamura, Kenki Fukuoka, Akihito Yamada, Harumichi Tatekawa and sevens star Lomano Lemeki all having represented Japan here previously.“We are very much delighted to hold our first ever Mistubishi Estate Super Rugby home match in Hong Kong against the Stormers on May 19th at Mong Kok Stadium,” said Mr Yuji Watase, Chief Executive Officer of the Japan Super Rugby Association.“We are excited to engage with the Sunwolves fans in Hong Kong, which is home to one of the most populous rugby communities, and one of the biggest Japanese communities, in Asia,” added Mr Watase.The Sunwolves enter the season under a ne coach who is also familiar to local audiences in former All Black and Japan international Jamie Joseph, who coached the Highlanders in the first ever appearance of a Super Rugby squad in Hong Kong against Racing 92 in 2016, the year after taking the Highlanders to the Super Rugby championship.The DHL Stormers Hong Kong debut will mark the second visit of a South African Super Rugby franchise in the city in 2018 after Cell C Sharks beat Racing 92 in the Natixis Cup earlier this month.The DHL Stormers reached the quarter-finals of last season’s competition, bowing out following a 17-11 loss to The Chiefs at the DHL Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.A host of senior players have signed contract extensions with Western Province Rugby, the provincial union behind the DHL Stormers, including the Springbok trio of captain Siya Kolisi, Damian de Allende and Steven Kitshoff. Springboks Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit are also currently under contract.The DHL Stormers draw one of the strongest annual attendances in Super Rugby at Newlands, and now South Africans in Hong Kong will have their opportunity to support a home side at the 6,000-seat Mong Kok Stadium.DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck said that his team is looking forward to the experience of playing in front of a Hong Kong crowd.“This is another first for the DHL Stormers and something that all of the players and management are really looking forward to. Our matches against the Sunwolves in Singapore have been tough encounters, so we know that we are in for a real test once again,” he said.Western Province Rugby Group CEO, Paul Zacks, said that it is particularly exciting to take the DHL Stormers brand to yet another new territory.“In the last two seasons we have taken the DHL Stormers to both Singapore and Argentina for the first time, so we are really looking forward to connecting with our supporters in Hong Kong in 2018.“The Faithful can be found all over the world and I am sure we will get great support in Hong Kong as well,” he said.Western Province Rugby Football Union President, Thelo Wakefield, said that it is great to see the DHL Stormers reaching yet another new frontier.“We have seen how much the DHL Stormers are loved all over the world in recent years, so we are looking forward to standing together with the Faithful in Hong Kong,” said Mr Wakefield.It will be a meeting of familiar rivals, after the two clubs were grouped in last season’s Africa 1 conference, with Stormers finishing top of the conference log. They swept the series beating Sunwolves 44-31 in Tokyo in week 5 and inflicting a heavier loss, 52-15, on the visitors at Newlands in week 16.After a restructuring of the competition in the close season, the Stormers are playing in the South African Conference alongside Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Jaguares, while Sunwolves are in the Australian Conference with Brumbies, Rebels, Reds and the Waratahs.The Sunwolves will open their campaign against the Brumbies in Tokyo on 24 February, while the Stormers got their season off to a winning start with a 28-20 victory over the Jaguares on 17 February.The match in Hong Kong will shorten the travel distance for the Sunwolves and becomes one of the three Mitsubishi Estate Super Rugby host matches they play each year away from Tokyo’s famed Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium.“SANZAAR is excited by the staging of the Sunwolves versus Stormers match in Hong Kong in May as it sees Super Rugby enter yet another new territory.The profile of Rugby in Asia has been elevated with the introduction of the Sunwolves into Super Rugby with matches already being played in Tokyo and Singapore, and we welcome this opportunity to promote the tournament and the game in China,” said Mr Andy Marinos, Chief Executive Officer of SANZAAR, the body that operates Super Rugby and The Rugby Championship competitions.Mr Robbie McRobbie, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Rugby Union welcomed the debut Super Rugby tie in the city long known for its world-famous Hong Kong Sevens tournament:“Super Rugby is one of the world’s premier rugby competitions and the Hong Kong Rugby Union is excited to welcome the Sunwolves and Stormers for the first ever league fixture here in May.With a thriving rugby community and a large expatriate population, we are confident that both sides will be well received. “With a global television audience for Super Rugby of nearly 50 million, we are delighted to be bringing another world-class rugby encounter to the city, especially one with such significant stakes, as both sides will be in mid-season form with much to play for. We are confident that fans will flock to the game and welcome the teams with the rugby hospitality that Hong Kong has become famous for,” McRobbie added.
Indian U17 Girls Finish 4th in Asia
Asia Rugby Under 17
Championship (Youth Olympic Games – Asia
Qualifiers)Dubai, UAE29th 30th November, 2017The Indian
U-17 Girls Rugby team competed at the
Asian Qualifier for the Youth
Olympic Games Rugby Sevens Championship which was held at Dubai Sports
City, Dubai, UAE on 29th 30thof
November, 2017. The team was 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.This
Asia Rugby tournament also served as the Qualifiers for the 2018 Youth Olympic
Games to be held in Argentina. A total of 12 countries from across Asia
including Japan, Laos, Kazakhstan, Iran, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Philippines,
China, Thailand, Malaysia, India and hosts U.A.E fought for top honors at the
championships in Dubai.
GIRLS - POOL
Indian Junior Girls Rugby team has been in preparation for over a year in the
lead up to this prestigious tournament. Most of these girls participated the Inaugural
Asian U18 Girls Rugby 7s, held on 30thNovember to 2ndDecember
2016 at the Dubai Sports City, UAE wherein India secured bronze beating Sri Lanka last year. In addition to this, the Indian
Junior Girls’ Rugby team also participated and finished fifth in theParis World Games 2017 held in France on 8th - 9thJuly
2017 in the U18 Girls category.For
the Asian Qualifier, the players shortlisted to join the Indian National
Training Pre-Camp were selected during the Societe Generale Junior National
Rugby Sevens Championship, which was held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in
Chennai on 10th 11thof June 2017.Post
the Junior Nationals, Rugby India hosted a Pre Selection Camp was held in
Kolkata from 1stOctober – 14thOctober 2017 where
a total of over 40 girls were put through the paces.Post the pre-camp; the best
20 girls were invited to join the National Training camp, which was held at the
Bombay Gymkhana, Mumbai from 5thNovember to 28thNovember
TEAMThe following 12 players
were selected from across India to represent the nation at the Asia Rugby U17
Girls Sevens Championship in Dubai.1.
Sandhya Rai (West Bengal) - Captain2.
Asha Araon (West Bengal) 3.
Rushmita Oraon (West Bengal) 4.
Urshila Khariya (West Bengal)5.
Sumitra Nayak (Odisha)6.
Jemamani Naik (Odisha)7.
Soni Mandangi (Odisha)8.
Lija Sardar (Odisha)9.
Prabati Kisku (Odisha)10.
Sweety Kumari (Bihar)11.
As seen in the picture- Standing Left to Right- Rushmita Oraon (West Bengal) Jemamani Naik
(Odisha)Prabati Kisku (Odisha)Urshila Khariya (West Bengal) Lija Sardar
(Odisha) Sandhya Rai (West Bengal) Sweety Kumari (Bihar) Sumitra Nayak (Odisha)
Soni Mandangi (Odisha) Sultana (Delhi) Priya (Delhi)Asha Araon (West Bengal) RESULTSDay1 –
November 29th ,2017Match 1 – India 27
– Laos 10Team India defeated a spirited Laos Rugby side in their opening match of
the tournament. With the win, The girls booked their Quaterfinal spot.Match 2 – India 0
– Japan 50A tough second game against tournament heavyweights Japan ended in
defeat for girls in blue. Finishing 2nd in our group meant that girls would face Hong
Kong in the quarterfinals on Day 2. Day 2
– November 30th ,2017Match 3 – India 27
– Hong Kong 5 (Quarter Finals)The girls caused the biggest upset of the tournament beating a physical
Hong Kong side to reach the semifinals of the tournament.Match 4 – India 0
– China 43 (Semi Finals)The
Mighty Chinese team powered through to the finals after defeating our Rugby
India girls in the Semis.Match 5 – India 5
– Kazakhstan 22 (3rd/4th Place)The
girls played hard but came up short against their far bigger and stronger
opponents. The crowd were really praising the team and said that the girls showed
some real heart and were putting their bodies on the line. Winners- Japan Runners Up – China 3rd
Place – Kazakhstan Rugby
India rank 4th in Asia!!!Our
Under-17 Girls played like warriors and made the country proud by ending the tournament
with our best ever finish and performance - securing a 4th place amongst the 12
utmost pride, we salute these girls for their exceptional commitment,
determination, resilience and passion. Well done ladies, you are the future of
thanks to Mike Friday for sharing his time and knowledge, the Olympic Channel
crew (Alex Gale and Ian 'Bruice' Smith) for all their efforts, Societe Generale
for their continuous support and to Jungle Crows, KISS, Delhi Hurricanes, Rugby
Football Associations of Bihar and all the other clubs for their hard work and
GIR-India Ranks 1st in Asia
IndiaRanks1stin Asia and 3rd Globally as per Get Into Rugby Statistic Report, 20172017 was a great year to "Get Into Rugby" indeed!!Rugby India,Ranks first in Asia and 3rd Globally for participation Numbers through GIR!As per the World Rugby’s Get Into Rugby (GIR) Statistic report 2017,Indiafinished in 1stposition in Asia to have seen highest participation in the GIR programs and came in 3rdposition globally.TheIndianRugby Football Union (IRFU), aka RugbyIndia,introduced the‘Get into Rugby’ program in 2012- a World Rugby initiative, to promote and grow the sport globally. The program is focused on introducing Rugby, the sport to enthusiasts and throw light on the values of the game - Integrity, Respect, Solidarity, Passion and Discipline, which inspire millions of kids to choose and play the game globally.As per the World Rugby Get Into Rugby (GIR) Statistic 2017,Indiahas seen a tremendous growth in the number of players playing Rugby from 2012 to 2017. The totalnumbers of Male Players have grown from 13,135 in 2012 to94536 in 2017. That represents a 600% increase over 6 years. The total numbers of Female Players havegrown from 5,355 in 2012 to 68105 in 2017.Mr. Mahesh Mathai, Secretary General,IndianRugby Football Unionsaid, “The GIR initiative has given Rugby the much needed push inIndia. We are extremely positive and ambitious about seeing huge growth of Rugby inIndiathrough the GIR platform. When it comes to growing rugby nationally, resource and fund allocation remains to be a deterrent. Thanks to Societe Generale and their cooperation, we can now participate in international Age grade rugby tournaments which will ultimately help us popularize the sport and build a strongnationalteam to compete at a global level.”Mr. Nasser Hussain, General Manager, RugbyIndiasaid, “We have received overwhelming response to GIR in the Age grade categories across the country. This initiative has also helped us find some very talented and passionate players, who are making us proud by competing and achieving accolades at international levels. In the month of November, theIndianU18 Girls team participated in theat the Youth Olympic Games Qualifiers in Dubai and finished in 4th Place out of 12 Asian Countries”.Societe Generale is also assertively supporting the ‘Get Into Rugby’ program, an initiative aimed to harness the potential sports talent from the grassroots in the country, especially at locations where resources are limited. Through this initiative, Societe Generale is committed to make Rugby accessible to everyone and build a strong national team to compete at the global level.Through the 3 stages of Get Into Rugby program implemented acrossIndia, schools have been able to gradually progress to 7-a-side rugby in the last few years. The players who represented their schools in the first two phases (TRY and PLAY phases of the GIR program) can then move to the third phase and get selected to play for their district and their state (STAY phase of the program).
RWC 2019 TROPHY TOUR Rugby in India boosted by record breaking RWC 2019 Trophy Tour visit
The huge potential for the growth of rugby in India was demonstrated by an unprecedented level of engagement with the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour during the first visit of the famous Webb Ellis Cup to the world’s second most populous country last week.Webb Ellis Cup received by a record-breaking crowd of over 15,000 schoolchildren in Bhubaneswar, the largest attendance at a standalone event since the trophy tour was introduced in 2014The Indian Sports Minister welcomed the Rugby World Cup trophy to Delhi and discussed the future of the sport with World Rugby Chief Executive Brett GosperRugby India successfully introduced 54,680 new participants to Get Into Rugby, World Rugby’s mass participation programmeIndian film superstars Sidharth Malhotra and Rahul Bose added Bollywood stardust and promoted rugby to their cumulative social media audiences of over 12 million followersMore than 120 local and international media attended trophy tour events, generating over 300 pieces of print and digital media coverage reaching a circulation of over 10 million in addition to widespread national television reportingOver 500,000 views of India trophy tour video content across World Rugby social media platformsThe Webb Ellis Cup enjoyed a high-profile and impactful visit to India as 18,800 participants directly interacted with trophy tour events in Delhi, Mumbai and Bhubaneswar during an action-packed five-day trip from 6-10 August.VIEW VIDEO OF RUGBY WORLD CUP TROPHY TOUR TO INDIA HERE >>The trophy tour included trips to three of India’s most iconic landmarks, including the world-renowned Taj Mahal, and received strong support from the stars of Bollywood and Indian film in the shape of actors and rugby fanatics Sidharth Mahotra and Rahul Bose who shared the inspiration of the Webb Ellis Cup with their cumulative social media audiences of more than 12 million.Some of India’s most high-profile sporting legends also got behind the rugby initiative as cricketer Debashish Mohanty, winner of 47 caps, three-time Olympian and former Indian hockey captain Dilip Tirkey and former women’s football captain Sradhanjali Samantray lent their support on the final day of the trophy tour in Bhubaneswar.World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper participated in the Delhi and Mumbai legs of the trophy tour and was impressed by the exceptional level of interest and enthusiasm for rugby in India: “Bringing the Webb Ellis Cup to India for the first time has been the catalyst for a breakthrough moment for the game in terms of political interaction, fan engagement and media exposure. We have witnessed unprecedented interest in rugby being ignited in this country of 1.3 billion people and a great sense of momentum building, as demonstrated by the record breaking turn out of over 15,000 schoolchildren in Bhubaneswar and the support received from the stars of Bollywood and other Indian sporting legends.“We were very encouraged to listen to the Sports Minister speak of the potential for growth of rugby and perhaps the most pleasing aspect of the tour was to see first-hand that rugby in India is being embraced by players and fans from all backgrounds and social classes, in keeping with World Rugby’s ethos of a game for all.“Thanks to the hard-working efforts of World Rugby’s partners in Asia Rugby and Rugby India the platform is set for the first Rugby World Cup in Asia next year to be a game-changer for the sport in this region, which has such huge growth potential. Our challenge now is to ensure that the seeds planted during this ground-breaking trophy tour are given every opportunity to develop in future.”The last two years has seen the biggest growth and development of rugby across the country with India ranked first in Asia and third in the world in terms of participation numbers through World Rugby’s Get Into Rugby mass participation programme by reaching more than 160,000 participants, with 40 per cent female in 2017.Meanwhile recent research conducted by Nielsen has found there to be an existing rugby fanbase of over 25 million in India, the third largest in the world behind USA and China, demonstrating the potential that exists for further engagement with the game.Continuing the commitment to grow the game, Rugby India used the inspiration of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour as an opportunity to reach more than 54,000 new rugby participants as part of a dedicated nationwide engagement campaign which ran from 1-15 August, culminating on Indian Independence Day. The activation involved strong collaboration with zonal, state and district associations, clubs, schools, universities, colleges, communities, corporate partners and volunteers and represents India’s biggest single Get Into Rugby activation to date.Mahesh Mathai, Secretary General Rugby India, said: “In celebration of the Rugby World Cup trophy tour to India, I am pleased to inform that Rugby India has been successful in reaching out to 54,680 new participants as part of the Get Into Rugby ‘Project 50k’ which was rolled out earlier this month. With the National School Games and University Games in sight, these new players will have an opportunity to showcase their talent and compete at the highest level. As the trophy departs from India, I would like to wish World Rugby all the very best for the remainder of the tour.”The Trophy Tour now moves on to Japan for a three-month domestic tour incorporating all 12 Rugby World Cup 2019 host venues, starting with the official opening and inaugural match at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium on 19 August ahead of the one year to go countdown and celebrations in September. To view the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour schedule visitwww.rugbyworldcup.com/trophy-tour.World Rugby aims to attract and retain one million new players in Asia by 2020 through the Impact Beyond programme and the trophy tour plays an important role in engaging new and existing rugby players and fans around the globe ahead of Japan 2019, the first Rugby World Cup to be held in Asia.For more information on Rugby World Cup 2019 visitwww.rugbyworldcup.com