Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], June 5 (ANI): The 8th Junior and 10th Senior Rugby National Championships are all set to kick off from Monday with 27 states and over 1,500 athletes vying for the top spots in the junior and senior categories. The championship starts with the junior girls and senior women's categories with the juniors playing on June 5 and 6 and the seniors playing on June 9 and 10 at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium, Balewadi, Pune, announced Rugby India.
Rahul Bose, the president of the governing body of the sport in the country, which is also known as the Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU) said that 2023-24 will be the biggest year for the sport.
"2023-24 will be the biggest year as yet for Indian rugby. Our Indian teams will travel abroad for nine tournaments this year. The squads that will be selected for these tournaments will be on the basis of these Nationals at Pune from 5 to 18 June 2023. Rugby India is delighted to hold these nationals at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium. Our special thanks to the Ministry of Sports and Youth Welfare, Government of MaharashtraDirectorate of Sports and Youth Services, Government of Maharashtra for partnering with us and supporting our road to the 2028 Olympics. We also have some exciting news this year - FanCode will be broadcasting our matches online, reaching out to new audiences across the country. To all our die-hard rugby fans and our new enthusiasts, welcome to the most exciting domestic Rugby competition in the country," said Bose, as quoted by a Rugby India press release.
The defending champions, Bihar, are looking to repeat their unbeaten record from last year in both the juniors girls' women's category but will come up against strong competition from Odisha, Maharashtra, and West Bengal who will be looking to topple them off their top spot.
The event will be live-streamed with the objective of further promoting the sport across India.
The junior girls and women's championship will be followed next week by the junior boys and men's event from the 14 till the 18 of June 2023. (ANI)