|Rugby union in India|
Europeans playing rugby in Calcutta in 1875
|Governing body||India Rugby Football Union|
Rugby union in India is a minor sport. However, it is a fast-growing sport as some Indian sporting clubs are beginning to embrace the game. Rugby union is the second most popular winter sport after association football in India, which itself trails greatly in popularity to cricket and field hockey.
India is World Rugby Rankings rated 77th in the rugby playing nations as of May 2016. The IRFU has 24,010 registered players, 7,160 of whom are female.This is their highest ranking ever. India is the current Division 3 South-Central title holder in the Asia Rugby Championship.
The governing body is the Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU).
India, like many other countries, had a few forms of folk football. Most of these have died out, but a Manipuri game, yubi lakpi is still played in the East of India. Emma Levine, an English writer on little-known Asian sports, speculates:
However, traditional football games can be found in many parts of the world, e.g. marn grook in Australia, cuju in China and calcio Fiorentino in Italy and Levine provides no documentary or material evidence of its antiquity.
Like other sports founded in England and brought to India during the British Raj such as cricket, rugby union has a long history in India. The earliest trace of Rugby Football in India dates back to a scratch match or two played in Calcutta and Madras during the visit of H.M.S. Galatea in 1871. The teak goal posts used on the occasion of the Calcutta Match were afterward used by the C.F.C. up to at least 1886.
The first recorded match was played on Christmas Day 1872, at CFC in Calcutta, it was played between England and a combined team of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The game caught on and had to be repeated within the week.
The game was now established. In January 1873, officers were appointed and the Club Rolls gave a total of 137 members. The Club colours were chosen as red and white, broad stripes.
From then on, rugby in India, lingered on at a very low key.Part of the reason for this was that the British preferred to play apart from their colonial subjects, leading to a low take up by the local population. Another reason was the climate, which meant that games would frequently have to be played in the evenings or early morning, which meant that it was not too popular with the colonists themselves.
At its lowest ebb, in the 1980s, the Indian RFU was being run out of the Irish Consulate at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club's chambers.However, a fairly successful campaign in the 1990s put the game back on its feet.
Indian delegates were amongst those who went to the centenary congress of the International Rugby Football Board in 1986.
There are 57,000registered players in the country and India are ranked 65th out of 96 nations in the IRB (International Rugby Board) world rankings. The home of rugby in India is considered to be Kolkata.
On Christmas Day 1872, a game of rugby, between 20 players representing England on the one side and 20 representing Scotland, Ireland and Wales on the other, was played in Calcutta.
The match was such a success that it was repeated a week later — the game of rugby had reached India. These lovers of rugby wanted to form a club in the area and the aforementioned matches were the agents which led to the formation of the Calcutta Football Club in January 1873.
The Calcutta Club joined the Rugby Football Union in 1874. Despite the Indian climate not being entirely suitable for playing rugby, the club prospered during that first year. However, when the free bar had to be discontinued, the membership took an appreciable drop. Other sports, such as tennis and polo, which were considered to be more suited to the local climate, were making inroads into the numbers of players available.
In 1877 the game declined and almost died out, leaving behind a full coffer. The wise G.A.J. Rothney, who had been acting as Captain, Hon. Secretary and Treasurer of the Club at that time, proposed that the funds should be devoted to the purchase of a cup of Indian workmanship to be offered to the Rugby Football Union- the parent body of the game worldwide. The withdrawal of these monies was done in the form of silver coins which were then melted to craft the exquisite Calcutta Cup.
The members decided to disband but keen to perpetuate the name of the club, they withdrew the club's funds from the bank; which were in Silver Rupees, had them melted down and made into a cup which they presented to the RFU in 1878, with the provision that it should be competed for annually.
The cup is of Indian workmanship, approximately 18 inches (45 cm) high, the body is finely engraved with three king cobras forming the handles. The domed lid is surmounted by an elephant which is, it is said, copied from the Viceroy's own stock and is complete with a howdah. The inscription on the Cup's wooden base reads: THE CALCUTTA CUP.
This historical legacy has not been universally well-received, in fact, Sean Smith, whose book The Union Game: A Rugby History accompanied the BBC TV series of the same name, has said of it that:
In 1884 Calcutta Cricket and Football Club (CC&FC) again set up a rugby section and in 1890 set up an inter club trophy, the Calcutta Rugby Union Challenge Cup, promptly christened the Calcutta Cup.
The cup is held by Jungle Crows who beat CC&FC. The second division trophy was won by Calcutta Cricket and Football Club Panthers.
The All India and South Asia Rugby Tournament is an amateur league competition for rugby union football clubs in India. The competition has been played since 1924. In 2016 12 team took part in the tournament and Army Red were the champions.For the first time women will be participating in the Rugby XVs, there were 6 teams.
|Men's Rugby Sevens||New Zealand||Australia||South Africa|
India is an active participant in the Commonwealth Sevens, and the 2010 Commonwealth Games, held in Delhi featured the sport.
In June 2019, the Indian women's registered their first victory in only their third-ever international match, when they defeated Singapore in the 2019 Asia Rugby Women's Championship.Team member Sweety Kumari, who was in excellent form during the tournament was declared as the 'International Young Player Of The Year' by Scrumqueens magazine.
Rugby union commonly known simply as rugby, is a full-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is played between two teams of 15 players each, using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field called a pitch. The field has H-shaped goalposts at both ends.
The Calcutta Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of the rugby match between England and Scotland. It is the oldest of several trophies awarded under the umbrella of the Six Nations Championship, which include the Millennium Trophy, Centenary Quaich, Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy, Auld Alliance Trophy, the Doddie Weir Cup.
Rugby union in Scotland is a popular team sport. Scotland's national side today competes in the annual Six Nations Championship and the Rugby World Cup. The first ever international rugby match was played on 27 March 1871, at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh, when Scotland defeated England in front of 4,000 people. Professional clubs compete in the Pro14, European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup, while the Scottish League Championship exists for over 200 amateur and semi-professional clubs, as does a knock-out competition, the Scottish Cup. The governing body, the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), is one of the ten first-tier member nations of World Rugby.
Rugby union in Fiji is a popular team sport and is considered to be the national sport of the country. The sport was introduced to Fiji in the 1880s. Fiji is defined as a tier two rugby nation by World Rugby. The national team has competed at the Rugby World Cup and made it as far as the quarter finals. Their sevens team is also noted for their success, and have won the Rugby World Cup Sevens twice and the World Rugby Sevens Series three times.
Rugby union in Georgia is a popular team sport. Rugby union is considered one of the most popular sports in Georgia.
Rugby union in Uruguay is considered a popular sport. The Uruguay national team, commonly known as Los Teros, have been playing international rugby since the late 1940s and have made appearances in four Rugby World Cups: 1999, 2003, 2015 and 2019.
Rugby union in Kenya is a popular sport, in particular due to the success of the Kenya national rugby sevens team in the rugby sevens format, and tournaments such as the Safari Sevens, which has been growing yearly, and now includes numerous international teams.
Rugby union in Hong Kong is long established, partly as a result of its being a British colony. In contrast to the People's Republic of China, it has had a continuous existence dating back over a hundred years, and is most notable for the Hong Kong Sevens tournament, the most well known of the rugby sevens tournaments. The top domestic club competition is the HKRFU Premiership.
Rugby union in Sri Lanka is mainly played at a semi-professional and recreational level. It is a popular team sport with a history dating back to 1879. In 2012, according to International Rugby Board figures, there were over 103,000 registered rugby union players in Sri Lanka, making it the second largest rugby-playing nation in Asia, behind Japan.
Rugby union in the Czech Republic is a minor sport. As of 1 November 2010, they are currently ranked thirty-first in the International Rugby Board's world rankings,.
Rugby union in Latvia is a minor but growing sport. During the pre-independence period, Latvia was not a centre for the game but nonetheless Latvia managed to qualify for the 1993 Rugby World Cup Sevens - which may be seen as the highest point it has yet reached.
Rugby union in Malaysia is a sport with a long history, and a significant participation. There are 41,050 registered players, and the country is currently ranked 47th. There are sixteen unions, associations and councils affiliated to the Malaysian Rugby Union, more than 300 clubs, and 600 schools which teach the game. Malaysian rugby's most notable contribution to the game at large is the invention of rugby tens.
Rugby union is not a major sport in Singapore. Singapore is currently ranked 58th in the world and 6th in Asia. As of February 2015, there over 12,000 registered players, with more than 2,000 women playing the sport. There are also 15 formally organised clubs with 4 registered Women's sides.
Rugby union in Sweden is a minor but growing sport. The Swedish Rugby Union was founded in 1932, and joined the IRB in 1988.
Rugby union in Thailand is a significant sport. They are currently ranked 60th, with 16,121 registered players.
Rugby union in Zimbabwe is a popular sport and ranks after association football and cricket as one of the oldest and most popular sports in the country. The Zimbabwe national team, commonly known as the Sables, have been playing international rugby since the early 1900s and have made appearances in two Rugby World Cups Zimbabwe at the Rugby World Cup on two occasions. As with rugby union in Namibia, the country's lack of a professional structure, and opportunity for player's to earn an income playing rugby, has been a problem for national organisers.
Rugby union in Pakistan is a minor but growing sport.
Rugby union in Bangladesh is a minor sport but one of the fastest growing games in Bangladesh.
Sport in Sri Lanka is a significant part of Sri Lankan culture. Although the Sports Ministry named volleyball the national sport, the most popular sport is Cricket. Rugby union is also popular. Other popular sports are water sports, badminton, athletics, football, basketball and tennis. Sri Lanka's schools and colleges regularly organize sports and athletics teams, competing on provincial and national levels.
The All India & South Asia Rugby Tournament is an amateur league competition for rugby union football clubs in India. The competition has been played since 1924. In 2017 ten teams took part in the men's edition, with Delhi Hurricanes securing the championship. The 2016 tournament also saw the first women's XVs rugby competition, with six teams participating, and the championship going to the team from the Odisha Rugby Football Association.