Pune, September 25: Pune city’s growing influence in preparing a women’s rugby squad has earned the city, the right to host the Sevens Rugby World Cup qualifier—the Asian Rugby Sevens Women’s championship to be held at the Balewadi Sports Complex athletics stadium here on October 6th and 7th, Pune, which hosted the Asian Rugby Sevens championship last year when China won the title ahead of Kazakhstan, will have the honour of holding the event back-to-back.
Fifteen teams including defending champion China and runner-up Kazakhstan have confirmed their participation in the continental championship that assumes much importance as the top three finishers will qualify for the World Cup to be held in Moscow, Russia in 2013.
The championship, held under the aegis of the Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU), will for the first time see United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Sri Lanka send its team for a women’s rugby tournament.
Indian Rugby and Football Union (IRFU), President, Mr. Pramod Khanna informed, “We are happy to announce that women’s rugby is back in Pune, a city that loves following the sport. I hope the student population makes their presence felt.”
“Women’s rugby is on the rise not just in India and Asia but throughout the world.”
Also present at the press conference, IRFU Board Member, Maneck Unwala, explained, “We get maximum response from Puneites and thus IRFU ensured the support received on all fronts could not be ignored.”
The two-day IRFU showcase event will be managed by Let’s Play Sports Management Company Pvt Ltd.
Speaking on the occasion, Business Head, Mr. Siddharth Mehta, explained, “We have taken the task of organizing the all-important Asian championship that acts as a World Cup qualifier in Pune and will leave no stone unturned in making the championship a success.”
Last year, 12 teams took part in Pune and all will be back in action again. The countries that have confirmed their participation are: China, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Japan, UAE, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, Fiji, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Iran, host India.
The teams will be divided into 3 pools of four teams each and 1pool of four teams, with top two finishers after the league playing for Cup/Plate competition, while the bottom two will compete in Bowl/Shield event.
To make the championship successful, the organizers have roped in ‘Partners’ in different sectors. Sancheti will be Hospital Partner, Girikand Travels as Transport Partner, Radio One (Radio Partner), Mayur Thali (Food Partner), Inorbit Mall (Mall Partner), and Sixth Element (Outdoor Partner).
Following are the Asian Rankings
|Row||Ranking 2012||Asian Champs 2011|
|Band 4||Philippines||(9th 2010)|
|Sri Lanka||(first event)|
Following are the Pools for Asian Championship:
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|Pool A||Pool B||Pool C||Pool D|
|2||Hong Kong||Chinese Taipei||Thailand||Singapore|