14th September 2023, Kolkata: In an official ceremony held earlier today, Rugby India announced the final team that will be competing at the 19th Asian Games to be held at Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China from the 23 September to 8 October 2023. Placed 7th on the final list of teams that are going to be participating in the event held every four years, the Indian team is looking to showcase their ability on the biggest sporting stage in Asia.
“At the end of this 50 day camp, Rugby India can confidently say this is the best prepared squad of athletes we have.We owe it all to our coaching staff that have prepared our players mentally, physically, and psychologically for this unique opportunity. Our only wish is that the country gets behind our women. Let us all be the wind beneath their wings.” Said Mr. Rahul Bose, President – Indian Rugby Football Union, at the team announcement ceremony.
The final Rugby Sevens squad includesSweta Shahi, Sandhya Rai (Vice Captain), Mama Naik, Kalyani Patil, Vaishnavi Patil, Lachmi Oraon, Dumuni Marndi, Hupi Majhi, Shikha Yadav, Tarulata Naik, Sheetal Sharma (Captain), and Priya Bansal.
“We as an entire team carry the hopes of the country, which will become our greatest strength at the Asian Games. No matter the opposition, we have been taught to never take a step back. We are ready to take on the competition and it will be a culmination of everything we have worked hard for in the camp over the last 40 days. The coaching has been brilliant and the facilities have been the best for any athlete training for a tournament of this calibre. We look forward to competing at the Asian Games.” Said Sheetal Sharma, Captain, India National Women’s Rugby Team.
Sheetal Sharma captained the team that performed well at the recently held Borneo 7’s held in Malaysia, where they finished in fourth place.
“It’s been a challenging and exciting journey over the past 5 years, leading up to the Asia Games. The passion and relentlessness in each of these players is what has facilitated this opportunity, to represent their country at the Asian frontier.” Said Ludwiche Van Deventer, Head Coach, Indian National Women’s team.
India’s campaign starts on the 24th of September against Hong Kong China in the morning session and Japan in the afternoon session. Drawn in F Pool with defending champions Japan, Hong Kong China, and Singapore, the Indian team will have to qualify as one of the top two teams here to further make it into the semi-final.